Dr. Maria Teresa Gil-Bazo, of the University of Newcastle, will head an upcoming seminar focusing on the right of asylum in State practice in Latin America and Africa.
According to figures provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (OHCHR) in 2012, more than 46 million people have been displaced within their own countries. In addition, in 2011, the organisation looked after 35.4 million people: refugees; internally displaced persons and asylum seekers.
From these individuals, 80% of refugees are located in developing countries and only the 20% is welcomed by the wealthier.
This shows that solidarity is greatest in poorer areas. Pakistan and Iran, both receive the largest number of forcibly displaced persons.
On the contrary, a greater number of people are forced to flee due to the situation of troubled territory in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
These refugees constitute the fragmentation in a multicultural society, a diverse world which is complex, whilst at the same time vulnerable, poor and persecuted. Some people have been forced to leave their homes and lives behind, in search of shelter.
The right to asylum is, in fact, an international human rights law, which everyone should be able to enjoy outside their country of origin, in the event of political persecution, or in order to escape from economic and environmental conditions.
Article 22 of the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights, article 12(3) of the 1981 African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, and article 18 of the 2000 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, all guarantee the right of individuals to be granted asylum.
In order to analyse this fundamental right, the Human Rights Consortium has organised the conference, International Refugee Law: The Right to Asylum in the Practice of Latin American and African States.
Dr. Maria Teresa Gil-Bazo, of the University of Newcastle, will be in charge of examining the existence of the constitutional law of asylum in the United States, Africa and Latin America.
The speaker will also trace the origins of asylum as a protection institution and will argue that it is about a relationship between the individual and the sovereign, and, as such, constitutes a dynamic relationship that is continuously redefined over time.
The event will take place on May 13 from 17.30pm onwards, in room 264 of the Senate House (Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU).
(Translated by Loukia Katsiami)