A numbers game: counting refugees and international burden-sharing
Dr Alice Edwards (UNHCR)
Public Seminar Series
Wednesday, 13 February 2013, 5pm to 6.30pm
Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB
The United Nations Refugee Convention recognises that the problem of refugees is inherently international and cannot be solved by a single State alone. Yet achieving international cooperation, or even achieving consensus on what this means, has had a long and chequered history. Moreover, debates on international cooperation (or responsibility- or burden-sharing) regularly involve 'counting' refugees and asylum-seekers. Who bears the biggest burden? And who is responsible for easing the burden? It’s a numbers game. This lecture will examine the many ways in which a focus on asylum statistics has impacted on the international protection regime for refugees, and what needs to be done about it.