UNHCR Holds Expert Meeting at the ICTR in Arusha

The  ICTR  and  the  Office  of the United Nations High Commissioner for   Refugees  (UNHCR), between 11 April and 13 April 2011, jointly organized   an  Expert  Meeting  on  Complementarities between International Refugee   Law, International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law.  The   meeting, hosted by the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania, was part of a series of  commemorative events  organized by the UNHCR in the context of the 60th anniversary  of  the  1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees   and  the  50th  anniversary  of  the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of   Statelessness.

This  meeting  brought  together  policy-makers  and  practitioners from   humanitarian  agencies, international criminal institutions and NGOs, as   well  as  academic  and current and former government experts to explore   practical  connections  between the UNHCR and other institutions working in  human  rights and international law. The participants in the meeting   discussed  ways  in which these stakeholders would mutually-benefit from   closer collaboration.

Issues    the    experts    discussed    included:   fragmentation   and  cross-fertilization  in International Law,  deportation  and  forcible transfer, how to define persecution, the treatment of civilians in armed conflicts, and international criminal institutions’ factual findings and  their  use  in  asylum proceedings.   Of  particular  interest  was the discussion  on  the  relationship  between  acquittals by international  criminal tribunals and exclusion from refugee status.

The  conclusions  of the Expert Meeting will be available shortly on the ICTR and UNHCR websites.