Refugee Camps in the Global South as an Instrument of Global Refugee Containment: A Conversation with Professor Ralph Wilde

12:15 p.m.
WCC 3018
Event banner of "Refugee Camps in the Global South as an Instrument of Global Refugee Containment: A Conversation with Professor Ralph Wilde" at 12:15pm on September 18 in WCC 3018. Lunch will be provided, access for HUID holders only.

Many cross-border forced migrants are in economically underprivileged states, many in camps, often long-term. Camps are supposed to be means of providing “temporary protection,” pending a “durable solution” of voluntary return, integration in the host state, or resettlement.  But where voluntary return has not been possible, camps have become an additional de-facto durable solution. This has happened because economically privileged states are opposed to a numerically significant resettlement of forced migrants in their countries, requiring such people to be “contained” in the global south. Many critics of camps as violations of human rights law call for the durable solution of host-state integration to be implemented. This presentation argues that such approaches are misconceived when they ignore the link between containment in camps and global-containment, and the role of international law in enabling the latter. 

Lunch will be provided.  

Ralph Wilde is a member of the Faculty of Laws at UCL, University of London, and a Visiting Professor at UCLA. He is an expert in international law. His current writing focuses the extraterritorial human rights, migration and refugee protection, and international law and the Palestinian people. His previous work on the concept of trusteeship over people and territorial administration by international organizations includes his book International Territorial Administration: How Trusteeship and the Civilizing Mission Never Went Away(OUP), awarded the Certificate of Merit of the American Society of International Law. He previously served on the Executive bodies of the American and European Societies of International Law, and the International Law Association. He also provides legal advice and representation to states, international organizations, and NGOs, and is currently acting as Senior Counsel and Advocate representing the 22 states of the League of Arab States in the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem Advisory Opinion case before the International Court of Justice. Wilde was an HRP Visiting Fellow from 2018-2019.


Hosted by the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World and the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. Co-sponsored by HLS Advocates for Human Rights.