Migration and the rule of law, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, was the topic du jour yesterday at the University of Georgia School of Law, thanks to guest lectures by Tom Syring, Chairman of the Human Rights Research League, based in Oslo, Norway.
As the 2020 American-Scandinavian Foundation Visiting Lecturer, Syring is an expert in international refugee and migration law and policy, and co-editor, with Boston University Law Professor Susan Akram, of Still Waiting for Tomorrow: The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises (2014). His visit to Georgia Law was part of a 2-month lecture and teaching tour that also includes stops in U.S. locations including Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Texas.
Following his public, lunch-hour talk on “Refugees, Forced Migration, and Africa,” Syring met with students in the Refugee & Asylum Law seminar (pictured above) led by Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann.
Together, the talks set forth:
- Issues and statistics related to forced migration; especially, internal displacement within the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- International legal frameworks designed to address the issue, including the Convention relating to the status of refugees, adopted in 1951 under the auspices of the United Nations, and the 2009 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, known as the Kampala Convention
- Ongoing efforts, in areas ranging from international development to anticorruption, by nongovernmental organizations like the Human Rights Research League, as well as international organizations including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross
Syring ended on a high note, pointing to the promising potential represented by countries in Africa, a continent rich in resources and a young, vibrant populace.
Cosponsors of the visit, in addition to Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center and the American-Scandinavian Foundation, included two University of Georgia units, the African Studies Institute and the School of Public & International Affairs.
Special thanks are due to all those affiliated with Georgia Law who supported Syring’s visit: Mandy Dixon, Catrina Martin, Brad Grove, Sarah Quinn, Heidi Murphy, and Laura Kagel, as well as Professors Lori Ringhand and Harlan Cohen.