Research projects

Thousands of new Rohingya refugee arrivals cross the border near Anzuman Para village, Palong Khali, Bangladesh. ; As an estimated 500,000 Rohingya sought safety in Bangladesh between late-August and October 2017, UNHCR worked with the authorities to create a transit centre to prepare for a further influx. They crossed by land into south-eastern Bangladesh through several points. Many came from the Buthidaung area in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Some said they fled torching and killings. Others said they left in fear, ahead of anticipated violence. To reach Bangladesh, they walked for days, many carrying children. They waded through marshland before swimming across the Naf river that divides the two countries. UNHCR worked swiftly to accommodate as many as possible in the camps and settlements in Kutupalong and Balukhali, and provided emergency relief items.
The work of the Centre is based around a team of law scholars at UNSW Law with expertise in the international, comparative and domestic dimensions of refugee law and policy.  Centre members pursue a variety of research projects on refugee law and policy in the areas listed below.

Rethinking international refugee protection

This program of research examines key challenges to the international protection regime and its domestic implementation around the world. It considers the capacity and limits of existing legal and institutional frameworks.

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Climate change, disasters and displacement

How do we ensure that people moving in the context of climate change and disasters have their rights and dignity protected?

Evacuations in international law

This timely and prestigious Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship tackles a crucial issue of our time: evacuations from crises – including disasters, climate change, conflict, pandemics and other humanitarian emergencies.

Pathways to protection 

This project explores how refugees and asylum seekers can move safely across international borders to access protection.

Technology, data and refugee protection

A series of projects exploring how data and technology can enhance the rights of refugees, increase access to justice, and identify and counteract bias and discrimination in the legal system.

Building fair and efficient asylum processes

A series of projects examining how governments decide who is a refugee, and how this can be done in a way that is both fair and efficient.

Advancing meaningful refugee participation

This project provides an in-depth analysis of the legal and policy framework governing the participation of refugees in decision-making processes.

Regional refugee protection in the Asia Pacific

This project explores the merits and opportunities of enhancing refugee protection at the regional level, both in Asia Pacific and other regions of the world.

Offshore processing

A project to examine the implications of policies which see asylum seekers forcibly transferred ‘offshore’ to have their protection claims processed in the territories of States such as Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Rwanda.

Australian law and policy reform

Exploring contemporary challenges in Australia’s refugee law and policy, and identifying priority areas of reform.