Join McLaughlin College this month for two expert-led lunch talks exploring international refugee law and the injustices experienced by youth during COVID-19. Both talks take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. via Zoom.
On Feb. 10, “Fleeing Contemporary Armed Conflicts in International Refugee Law: Judicial Practice in the European Union” will be presented by Christel Querton, lecturer in law at the University of the West of England Bristol, who has worked in the field of refugee, immigration and human rights law for over 10 years. Querton’s research focuses on the protection of refugees in international refugee law and human rights law from empirical, comparative and feminist perspectives. Her latest article entitled “Gender and the Boundaries of International Refugee Law: Beyond the Category of ‘Gender-Related Asylum Claims’” was published in the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (2019).
As the number of forcibly displaced people in the world today is the highest ever recorded and most are fleeing situations of armed conflict and widespread violence, queries regarding the continued relevance of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (‘Refugee Convention’) for international protection need addressing.
Querton’s paper demonstrates that appellate authorities in the European Union adopt a conventional warfare perspective when dealing with situations of armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and thereby fail to interpret the Refugee Convention in light of present-day conditions.
Drawing on feminist and security studies literature, Querton proposes an interdisciplinary approach to interpretation of the refugee definition that better reflects the nature of violence in contemporary armed conflicts, including its gender differentiated impacts. This approach aims to more effectively respond to current protection needs.
On Feb. 24, “COVID-19 and Injustices Experienced by Children & Youth” will be presented by Sydney Campbell, a PhD candidate studying health policy in the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation at the University of Toronto.
Campbell will examine some of the impacts that children and youth within Canada and internationally have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking to motivate an exploration of the question: what have the moral experiences of children and youth looked like in COVID-19 and in what ways have children and youth been treated impermissibly during the pandemic? The answer to this question, provided in her talk, relies on justice-based perspectives to: a) highlight where and how young people have faced moral wrongdoing by pandemic responses; and b) provide a lens through which the pandemic experiences of children and youth can be framed.