The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture
Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, OBE, Emerita Professor, was a legal anthropologist who founded the Refugee Studies Centre in 1982 and directed it until 1996. Prior to this she conducted research in West Africa from 1967-1982, while employed by the Departments of Anthropology, University of Edinburgh & University of Illinois-Urbana, the Afrika Studiecentrum in Leiden, and the Faculty of Law, University of Warwick. On her retirement from the RSC, she conducted research in Kenya and Uganda (1997-2000), and was Honorary Adjunct Professor at the American University in Cairo (2000-2008). She wrote the seminal text Imposing Aid: Emergency Assistance to Refugees in 1982.
An unflinching advocate of legal aid programmes for refugees and research and teaching in refugee studies in the Global South, Barbara was a driving force behind the establishment of a number of programmes in countries that included Uganda, Egypt, South Africa, and the UK. She was responsible for the information portal www.refugeelegalaidinformation.org (Rights in Exile) that promotes legal assistance for refugees around the world. In 2013, Rights in Exile became the refugee rights component of the International Refugee Rights Initiative, which issues the monthly refugee legal aid newsletter, Rights in Exile.
Barbara was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005 for services to refugee and forced migration studies. Barbara was also a recipient of the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology awarded by the American Anthropological Association, and received the Lucy Mair Medal for Applied Anthropology in 2014. In July 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctorate at the School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Far from being only an academic, the focus of Barbara’s life-long work was on refugee rights, and on keeping refugees at the centre of humanitarianism, issues which resonate even more deeply now, in an age when asylum and protections for refugees appear daily more endangered.
She died in July 2018 at her home in Oxford.
The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is held each year in Michaelmas term.
Dr Jemilah Mahmood (Under-Secretary General for Partnerships, IFRC)
Patrick Kingsley (Migration correspondent, the Guardian)
Professor Walter Kälin (Envoy of the Chairmanship of the Nansen Initiative, and Professor of Constitutional and International Law, University of Bern)
Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Talal
Professor Yakin Ertürk (Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture)
Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar (Stanford Law School)
Filippo Grandi (Commissioner-General, UNRWA)
António Guterres (UN High Commissioner for Refugees)
Professor Jan Egeland (Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Coordinator, Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)
The Rt Hon Sir John Waite (Co-chair of the Independent Asylum Commission)
HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
Asylum: the new dirty word
Shami Chakrabati (Director, Liberty)
Refugee law, rights and reality in Africa into the 21st Century
Professor Bonaventure Rutinwa (University of Dar es Salaam)
Benedict Anderson (Aaron L Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Cornell University)
Refugees and their human rights
Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill (All Souls College, University of Oxford)
Human trafficking and smuggling: implications for the refugee protection system
Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn (The Law School, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
September 11th: its implications for law, human rights and democracy
Harold Hongju Koh (Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)
Globalization, humanitarianism and the erosion of refugee protection
Professor B S Chimni (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India)