Friday, June 15, 2007

RefWorld: UN Agency Launches Online Refugee Country of Origin Information Collection

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has announced the creation of an online tool for use by those who have to make decisions on the status of people who have fled their homes.

The tool is called Refworld:

"Refworld contains a vast collection of reports relating to situations in countries of origin, policy documents and positions, and documents relating to international and national legal frameworks. The information has been carefully selected and compiled from UNHCR's global network of field offices, Governments, international, regional and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and judicial bodies".

On the same issue, last month, the legal research site published a new research guide entitled Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web:

"The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is now over 50 years old. What impact has this instrument had on resolving refugee problems and how effective has it been as the principal standard for the international protection of refugees? Although the total refugee and asylum-seeking population has dipped since the early 1990s, over 20 million 'persons of concern' can still be counted in the world today. Moreover, debates continue to rage as to the nature of the protection that refugees should be granted, the role of the international community, and the obligations of receiving countries towards refugees. This guide directs readers to some of the key texts and resources available on the Web that can help shed light on, and provide a context for, many of the issues currently being deliberated in the refugee law arena".
Earlier Library Boy posts dealing with refugee issues include:
  • "Forced Migration Online": An International Refugee Portal (October 27, 2005): "Forced Migration Online describes itself as 'a comprehensive web site that provides access to a diverse range of relevant information resources on forced migration' (...) The subject coverage includes: Causes of flight; Conditions in countries of origin (...); Responses to forced migration situations (e.g., emergency assistance, relief programmes, legal protection/asylum, resettlement, international humanitarian law, compensation, etc.); Experiences of forced migrants (e.g., adaptation, health, psychosocial issues, racism, etc.); Special groups (e.g., gender issues, children, indigenous peoples, etc.); Repatriation/return (e.g., post-war reconstruction, development/livelihood programmes, etc.)..."
  • Blog on Forced Migration Issues (July 1, 2006): "One of the international law blogs that came to my attention recently is the Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog, a 'service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, IDPs [internally displaced persons] and forced migration'."
  • Background Material on Asylum Producing Countries (November 11, 2006): "ResourceShelf recently drew my attention to the Country of origin information service of the United Kingdom's Home Office: 'Country of Origin Information Service (COI Service) exists to provide accurate, objective, sourced and up-to-date information on asylum seekers' countries of origin, for use by ... officials involved in the asylum determination process'. Other sources of information about 'asylum-producing countries' include: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Country of Origin information (...); Country of Origin Research Documents (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada) (...); National Documentation Packages (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada) (...)"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:32 pm


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