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School of Law

Immigration LLM | UNHCR at Work, and as a Workplace: A view from the Inside

28 November 2018

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: Room 2.10, School of Law Queen Mary, University of London Mile End Road E1 4NS London United Kingdom

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LLM in Immigration Law

Jean-François Durieux will present the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and his own experience within the organisation over more than three decades. The session will provide an overview of the past and current challenges confronting UNHCR, a fairly unique UN agency combining a protection mandate with an expanding role as a humanitarian relief provider in times of emergency and crisis. Building on this introduction, the second part of the event will be devoted to a reflection on what it means, and what it takes, to work in UNHCR and to make (or not) a career in the humanitarian field. Jean-François will draw on his own experience in this respect, providing a first-hand account of a life-long career. Some information will also be provided regarding entry-level job opportunities with UNHCR.

An informal discussion with attendees, offering a unique opportunity to students to ask questions and engage in a debate, will close the event.

About the Speaker

Jean-François Durieux is a graduate of Facultés Universitaires St-Louis in Brussels, Belgium, and obtained a Law Degree from the Catholic University of Louvain. He has taught international law at the Refugee Studies Centre (Oxford) in 2007-2009, and again in 2011-2012. In 2011, Mr Durieux completed a 30-year career with UNHCR, during which he served in Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America, as well as at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva, notably in the Division of International Protection and in the Regional Bureau for Europe. His last position in the organisation was that of Director in the Division of Programme Support and Management.

Mr Durieux’s research interest has focused on legal responses to mass influxes of refugees, including a comparison of African and European regimes and a reflection on the legal implications of refugee emergencies and protracted refugee situations. He has organised seminars and short courses on statelessness and on the cross-fertilisation of refugee law, human rights law, and international humanitarian law. He has recently co-edited, with Dr David Cantor, a major book on the interface between IHL and international refugee law. From September 2014 to September 2016, he was the director of the International Refugee Law and Migration Law programme of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, based in Sanremo (Italy). He is currently contributing, both as a module convenor and as a tutor, to the distance-taught MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies of the University of London, under the auspices of the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London.