2nd Annual Conference, Refugee Law Initiative, University of London


This year’s special theme – ‘Mass Influx? Law, Policy and Large-Scale Movements of Refugees and Migrants’ - reflects a need to re-examine complex issues surrounding large-scale sudden movements of persons across borders, as we build towards the Global Compacts in 2018.

With the current political focus on such large-scale movements, there is renewed interest in better understanding and developing humanitarian responses. Even if key normative and legal protection gaps in this area have been evident for some time, little has changed on the ground for refugees, migrants and IDPs. The September 2016 adoption of the UN New York Declaration provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the ideas and proposals expressed therein and to feed into the development of Global Compacts in 2018.

Alongside presentations from keynote speakers, several panel sessions will be devoted to this theme. Proposals for these ‘thematic’ panels should ONLY speak directly to the special theme for this year. Possible topics for paper or panel submissions include the following:

  • Reflection on concepts and future prospects of ‘new’ approaches in NY Declaration, including ‘large-scale movements’ of refugees/migrants, Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), 2018 Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants
  • Examples of ‘large-scale movements’ such as Syria, Somalia, Central America etc. in the present day and through history; and their implications for law, policy and/or for the proposals in the NY Declaration (suitability for CRRFs etc.)
  • Protection mechanisms and/or protection gaps in relation to large-scale movements, including refugee law topics of solidarity, responsibility-sharing, group or prima facie approaches, durable solutions, temporary protection, derogations etc.
  • General relationship between refugee and migration law, policy and protection, including in the context of large-scale mixed movements or migration flows
  • Potential for attention to IDPs or issues of statelessness in the context of large-scale movements (as issues largely absent from the NY Declaration)

Note that these are pointers only and we welcome proposals on any aspect of the debates surrounding large-scale movements of refugees and migrants, and humanitarian responses.


The remainder of panel slots will be open to ANY topic on law, policy and practice relating to refugees, IDPs, stateless persons and forced migrants. They offer a platform for a broader range of high-quality research in this field. Proposals to these panels can be for law, policy or practice at the international level, in the UK and Europe, or in any other country or region.


The selection committee is pleased to invite paper and panel proposals (of 3-4 papers) for ‘thematic’ panels and for ‘open’ panels. Please indicate clearly in the subject line of your email whether your proposal relates to the ‘thematic’ or the ‘open’ panels and whether it is for a single paper or a panel. Selection is competitive and proposals will be chosen based on quality, relevance to the field and (for ‘open’ panels) coherence with other submissions.

We also invite proposals for poster presentations during the evening reception on the first day. See here for examples from last year. This is a space that newer researchers, taught students, etc. may find more suitable for presenting research through poster presentations. High-quality proposals not accepted for the panel sessions may be offered a place on the poster session. Please indicate in the subject line of your email if you are proposing a poster.

Please send all proposals – whether for a paper or panel - to rliconference2017@sas.ac.uk from 15 November 2016 onwards. Deadline for submission is 31 January 2017. A decision will be returned by 20 February 2017. The decision of the selection committee is final.

Proposals are welcomed from researchers at all stages in their careers.

See more here.