Workshop on digital refugee legal aid in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

REF-ARAB researchers organized a workshop on digital refugee legal aid at Erbil Polytechnic University Campus.

Picture of the organizers presenting at the workshop

REF-ARAB researchers Abdullah Yassen and Mirjam Twigt discussed their research findings with aid workers, lawyers and legal aid professionals. Photo: Erbil Polytechnic University.

Refugee protection in the KRI

On Wednesday March 9, 2022, REF-ARAB researchers Dr. Abdullah Yassen and Dr. Mirjam Twigt organized the workshop "Digital Refugee Legal Aid in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI)" at Erbil Polytechnic University Campus.

During the workshop, Yassen and Twigt shared and discussed lessons drawn from their research conducted as part of the REF-ARAB project. The REF-ARAB project explores the characteristics of refugee protection in states in the Middle East that are not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Mirjam Twigt presenting at workshop
Mirjam Twigt and Abdullah Yassen seek to make their research relevant to the people they work with. Photo: Erbil Polytechnic University.

With a focus on how research can be of practical use for refugees and asylum seekers themselves, Yassen and Twigt discussed their preliminary research findings. In conducting this research, they have interviewed humanitarian workers, lawyers and legal aid providers with a view to further the understanding of the complex refugee protection landscape in the KRI.

In-dept discussions

The 17 workshop attendees came from a variety of professional backgrounds, ranging from international and local aid organisations providing legal support to refugees, to independent lawyers and fellow researchers.

Picture of workshop participants.
The workshop sparked discussions between researchers and practitioners. Photo: Erbil Polytechnic University.

Workshop participants specifically mapped the difficulties that different refugee communities face in accessing their rights in the KRI. They also discussed whether technologies are useful to circumvent some of these obstacles, as well as the current and future potentials and challenges for digitalising refugee legal aid in the KRI.

Several participants expressed that the workshop sparked much needed in-depth discussions. Considering the complex legal landscape in the KRI, the event was found to be helpful to foster more coordinated efforts supporting refugees' access to rights.

Published Mar. 25, 2022 10:07 AM - Last modified Mar. 25, 2022 10:35 AM