March events on the calendar for the McLaughlin Lunch Talk Series

McLaughlin College invites the York University community to come and listen to interesting speakers as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics, and enjoy a free lunch during the popular Lunch Talks Series. The long-running series continues through March with more events on the calendar.

Students who attend six or more Lunch Talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

The free talks take place in the Senior Common Room, 140 McLaughlin College, Keele Campus.

March 10 – Harmonizing International Refugee and Migration Law Through International Professional Associations: The Case of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) annual Forced Displacement report indicates that there are more than 71 million people of concern, with more than 25 million of those who are refugees, and, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), states that there were more 270 million people who are on the move in 2019.

James Simeon
James C. Simeon

There has been much public discourse, dialogue and scholarly debate about the continually rising numbers of refugees, that some would say amounts to a “refugee crisis,” and migrants, who are looking to relocate elsewhere on a temporary or permanent basis, in the world today. Given there are presently 195 countries, 193 are members of the United Nations, with varying laws and legal systems dealing with migration law, in general, and refugee law, in particular, and despite the panoply of international instruments and, most recently, the non-binding 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and its two 2018 Global Compacts: one for “Refugees;” and, the other “for safe, orderly, and regular migration,” there is an overriding need to align states’ laws and practices for the protection of the fundamental human rights of migrants, whether voluntary or forced.

This talk by James C. Simeon, the head of McLaughlin College and an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, will consider the role of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ), that recently held its 12th World Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica, in harmonizing international refugee and migration law in an effort to bring about more just and accountable outcomes for both refugees and migrants in the world today.

Simeon’s areas of research interest include public international law and public policy and administration and he has published and presented widely in these disciplinary fields. Some of his edited book publications include: Critical Issues in International Refugee Law; The UNHCR and the Supervision of International Refugee Law; Forced Migration and the Advancement of International Protection; and, forthcoming, The Criminalization of Migration: Context and Consequences (edited with Idil Atak).

This event runs 12 to 1:30 p.m.

March 11 – The Global Refugee System is Broken

Presented by Allan Rock, senior advisor at the World Refugee Council (WRC), this talk explores how the global refugee system is broken and steps that can be taken to improve it.

Image result for allan rock
Allan Rock

Rock states there is a record number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide. Unresolved conflicts and a warming planet add to their number each year. There is little sharing of the responsibility to provide them with refuge: four out of five displaced persons are found in the world’s least developed countries. Chronic under funding means refugee services fall far short of needs. And there is no accountability for the states that are not doing their share. Climate change is about to force many millions more from their countries, and without major improvements, the current crisis will almost certainly become a catastrophe.

The World Refugee Council (WRC) published its report last year, A Call to Action, identifying dozens of concrete steps that can be taken now to strengthen the global response to forced displacement.

Come and hear the WRC’s prescription for reform. And learn how you can help by advocating for change. Canada should lead the effort to make the global refugee system more humane and effective.

Rock is president emeritus and a professor of law at the University of Ottawa. He is a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, and served in several federal cabinet posts, including minister of justice and attorney general of Canada.

This event runs 12 to 1:30 p.m.