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Self-Study Module 5: Human Rights and Refugee Protection (Vol. I)
This document, which focuses on international human rights law, is one of a series of self-study modules developed by UNHCR’s Division of International Protection Services in 2006. UNHCR first published a Human Rights and Refugee Protection training module in October 1995 (Volume I) and October 1996 (Volume II). That earlier module helped to create a greater awareness and understanding of human rights issues in the context of refugee protection. However, human rights law is constantly evolving, and advances in the field over the past decade have been enormous.
The case-law of the human rights courts, including the European Court and the Inter-American Court, has undergone extensive development while United Nations human rights supervisory bodies (e.g., the treaty bodies) and regional bodies, such as the African Commission and Inter- American Commission on Human Rights, have developed the content and expanded the scope of human rights protection. Increasingly, these standards are being applied to the protection of refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR – that is, to asylum seekers, returnees, stateless persons, and internally displaced persons. In fact, it is now acknowledged that international refugee law, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law should be applied in concert to best protect refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR.
This self-study module is intended to be used by the UNHCR staff and implementing partners who provide protection and assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR. It is designed to
- Familiarize UNHCR staff and partners with the principles, provisions and major mechanisms of international human rights law;
- Be used as a reference tool for protection officers in the field; and
- Assist UNHCR staff and partners in the field in designing and conducting their own training sessions.