UP Faculty of Theology hosts international summer school on refugee rights

Ilustrative photo: The Department of Christian Social Work archives, Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology
friday 25. may 2018, 12:48 – Text: Velena Mazochová

Who in fact is and who is not a refugee? What are the EU rules concerning their protection and how are they applied in the Czech Republic? Who is entitled to protection under international refugee law? A unique opportunity to learn more about the situation of refugees will be provided at the Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights, taking place in August 2018, organised by the Department of Christian Social Work at the Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology. Applications will be accepted until the end of May.

The opportunity to take part in this intensive ten-day course led by renowned experts is open both to students and professionals from all academic disciplines and backgrounds. “The Summer School should be able to launch and support their careers in international governmental and non-governmental organisations,” said Selma Porobić from the Humanitarian Studies section of the organising department.

The main purpose of this unique summer school is to advance knowledge and skills for protecting asylum seekers. Simultaneously, it hopes to contribute to an exchange of experts and to building cooperation networks in responding to the current challenges of access to international refugee protection in the EU countries. “Due to ongoing wars and prolonged hostilities in several parts of the world, the number of persons seeking international protection in the EU countries has rapidly grown. The number of asylum seekers is thus increasing, as well as the necessity of full refugee protection. Training in refugee law is a very important and challenging task,” said Porobić, explaining the motivation behind this event.

The training offered at the school will focus on the legal procedures for assisting refugee asylum claims, including practices of acquiring necessary documentation. It will feature a specific case-study analysis of the access to asylum and application of asylum rights in four countries of Central and South-east Europe: Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. It will also include a comprehensive one-day simulation of refugee influx and humanitarian relief and assistance response.

“The Summer School will offer an interactive learning environment using a combination of lectures, documentary films and open discussions. Instructors at the school are experienced and committed experts, scholars, legal practitioners and activists in the field of international refugee protection. The keynote speaker will be Marko Szilveszter Macskovich, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from the UN Office in Geneva. Other guests will include, for example, Iris Goldner Lang, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law, UNESCO Chair on the Free Movement of People and Kristýna Andrlová from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Czech Republic,” said Agnieszka Zogata Kusz from the UP Department of Christian Social Work. She added that participants are eligible to receive a certificate and 12 ECTS credits.

The International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights will take place from 10–19 August 2018 in the premises of Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology and the former army barracks at the airport in Olomouc-Neředín. It will continue in the tradition of previous successful summer schools in the years 2012–2015, organised by the Refugee Centre at the University of Sarajevo, and last year’s Summer School in Humanitarian Work, organised by the UP Department of Christian Social Work.

More details and information on how to apply can be found on the website of the International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights.