UAI in the UK – December Newsletter

Dear Members and Supporters,

Apologies for a slight delay in circulating the December Newsletter, not least because we have included details of two events taking place on Wednesday and Friday, this week. Our third item, is on a similar theme to the MAPS event and is a report from a conference held on 24 November about the legal issues arising from rescue at sea by private vessels.

1. War Criminals I Have Known – On making humanitarian action in today’s world multilateral, legitimate and safe. A Film Journey and Conversation with Experts hosted by Arezou Azad. (Wednesday 9 December, from 17:00-18:30 GMT )

This will take place online. Further details are given separately below, including a link to a short documentary that can be viewed before the event about Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Envoy to Baghdad. Not long after his arrival in Baghdad, he was killed in a terrorist attack on the UN building.

Dr Arezou Azad is Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford University Oriental Institute and Director of the Invisible East programme. She is also a member of UAI in the UK

2. MAPS* Event – Conflicting Responses to Refugees & Migrants in Covid-19 Europe (Friday 11 December from 9 am to 3:45 pm)

The University of London, Queen Mary’s Immigration Law Programme is hosting a conference entitled Conflicting Responses to Refugees & Migrants in Covid-19 Europe. It will take place online. The conference is convened by Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax and Dr Niovi Vavoula (QMUL).

Sara Palacio Arapiles, a committee member of UAI in the UK, will be one of the panelists.

* MAPS is the acronym for the Migration and Asylum Policies Systems  

3. When Private Vessels Rescue Migrants and Refugees: A Mapping of Legal Considerations

This report was authored by Dr Jean-Pierre Gauici, senior research fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), and was presented at a conference on 24 November. The report explores the law around search and rescue particularly from the perspective of private vessels, including the obligation to rescue, human rights responsibilities and commercial implications.

See the separate section below for more details of the report and of the conference.

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The Committee of UAI in the UK
7 December 2020


1.“War Criminals I have known” – On making humanitarian action in today’s world multilateral, legitimate and safe. A Film Journey and Conversation with Experts hosted by Arezou Azad
This event is to be held on the eve of Human Rights Day to honour the sacrifices that humanitarians around the world make, and to contribute to their aims.

Humanitarian action in today’s world has been marred by threats to multilateralism, inclusivity, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. How can the major humanitarian challenges that face people in conflict zones today be met? Lessons need to be learned; new paths forged. In this Live YouTube event, Arezou Azad remembers a man who manoevred competing interests in conflict zones in the interest of humanitarianism with a skill that has been unparalleled: Sergio Vieira de Mello, who paid the ultimate sacrifice when he and 21 humanitarian colleagues were killed in an al-Qa’ida attack on a UN building in Iraq 17 years ago.

To watch the full film in advance, click here

Dr Azad will be joined by four expert guests, who have drawn inspiration from the film “En Route to Baghdad” (2005). They will show, and comment on, snippets of the film to illustrate how one might navigate these uncertain times.

Taking part are experts on humanitarianism, the safety of humanitarian personnel, multilateral diplomacy, film, Islam and jihad.The event is hosted by The Oxford Reasearch Centre in the Humanities. (TORCH) and will include the following:

  • Dealing with non-state actors during jihad (Dr Elisabeth Kendall)
  • Attacks on humanitarian actors  – Trends, what the law says, and what else is required (Abby Stoddard and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard)
  • Behind the scenes: The making of “En Route to Baghdad” (Simone Duarte)

Full details of the event can be found using the following link:

https://torch.ox.ac.uk/event/war-criminals-i-have-known-on-making-humanitarian-action-in-todays-world-multilateral-legitima

Registration is open to all via Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/war-criminals-i-have-known-tickets-127329663451


2. MAPS* Event – Conflicting Responses to Refugees & Migrants in Covid-19 Europe (Friday 11 December)

On Friday, 11 December, the Queen Mary Immigration Law Programme is hosting a conference entitled ‘Conflicting Responses to Refugees & Migrants in Covid-19 Europe’.  It will take place online on 11 December 2020 from 9 am to 3:45 pm The conference is convened by Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax and Dr Niovi Vavoula (QMUL) as part of the MAPS Monnet Network.

Full details of the programme and the panelists can be found on the Queen Mary’s School of Law website using the following link:


3. When Private Vessels Rescue Migrants and Refugees: A Mapping of Legal Considerations – A Report by Dr Jean-Pierre Gauici

This report, on the legal implications of rescue at sea by private vessels, was presented at a conference hosted by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), on 24 November. It explores the law surrounding search and rescue particularly from the perspective of private vessels and concludes with some important recommendations.

Use the following link for details of the conference and participants:
https://www.biicl.org/events/11456/when-private-vessels-rescue-migrants-legal-implications

The report itself is available at: https://www.biicl.org/documents/124_private_vessels_research.pdf

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