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About the workshop

The European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) is an EU project to find new methods for the return of unaccompanied minors (UAMs), mainly from Afghanistan, who have received a final rejection of their asylum application. 

This has raised a number of political, legal and moral concerns. These include the feasibility of family tracing and the safety of deported children in war-torn Afghanistan, the (in)compatibility of ERPUM’s goals with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the European jurisdiction relating to children deported from their territories. Furthermore, European states have been reluctant to disseminate information about the progress of ERPUM negotiations and the concrete practices the project is envisioned to involve.

This one-day workshop will convene academics and policymakers to discuss this urgent and critical issue. 


10:30–11:00 Registration and coffee/tea 


Dawn Chatty, RSC


The evolution of the ERPUM project
Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, University of Copenhagen


Afghan perspectives on ERPUM
Liza Schuster, City University London

12:30–13:30 Lunch


ERPUM and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Rebecca Stern, University of Uppsala


Ethical reflections on ERPUM
Matthew J Gibney, RSC




Panel discussion
Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (University of Copenhagen) (Chair); Jan Murk (UNICEF Netherlands); Eva Singer (Danish Refugee Council); Andrea Vonkeman (UNHCR) (by video link) [NB due to problems with recording quality, this presentation is not included in the podcast]; Liza Schuster (City University London); Rebecca Stern (University of Uppsala)

17:00– 17:30 

Summary and closing session


Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

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Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA