- About us
Self-Study Module 5: Human Rights and Refugee Protection (Vol. II)
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. But human rights law is constantly evolving, and advances in this field over the past decade including those impacting on the protection of refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR 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 widened the scope of human rights standards. 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 Volume is divided into three Parts. Part A (Chapters 1 to 7) examines groups of people who have specific protections needs. Part B (Chapters 8 to 20) examines substantive rights. Part C includes exercises for self-study, a list of further readings, and answers to the exercises. Each Part includes a set of key learning objectives.
The main objective of Volume II is to examine specific refugeerelated topics. For a general knowledge of international human rights law as enshrined in public international law, please refer to Volume I.
This Manual focuses on using international human rights law to strengthen the protection of refugees; it does not provide specific guidance for determining refugee status, although developments in the sphere of human rights law can impact on the proper interpretation of the refugee definition, namely of the term “persecution” and the five grounds. Thus, readers may wish to complement this Manual with the Manual on Refugee Status Determination (self-study module 2), when appropriate. This manual, which focuses on protecting refugees and asylum-seekers, should be consulted in conjunction with the UNHCR/Inter- Parliamentary Union Handbook on Nationality and Statelessness, the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the forthcoming Inter-Agency IDP Protection Handbook.