Module 4: Human Rights for Refugees from the Post-War Era to Times of 'Mixed Migration Flows'

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'mixed migration flows'; evolution of human rights protection and current challenges


This activity involves group work, dialogue and discussions about the origins, the evolution, continuity and disruptions of refugee protection in post-war Europe linked to the overall framework of human rights protection. It explores the interlinkages, challenges, chances and limits of the Refugee Convention and the Migrant Workers Convention in times of 'mixed migration flows' and shrinking asylum possibilities in the North.


Group size: 4 – 6 group members
Time Frame: 2 - 3 hours
Material: short texts reflecting a variety of perspectives (see pdf-document on the left side); pens; big flipcharts


To become aware of the evolution of human rights protection and current challenges and gaps concerning the protection of forced migrants.
To learn about the challenges and limits of the human rights protection system in European migration policy

Preparation-materials for teachers

In order to become acquainted with all the terms and concepts used in this module (such as irregular refugee, border, border management etc..), please use our glossary.


The activity is divided into three parts.
The first part takes approx. 45 min.. This time is needed for reading, taking notes to summarize the texts and exchanging their different positions in the working group. The second part requires approx. 60 min. and includes a discussion about the different texts and the development of a creative way of presenting the results. In part three the different work groups are supposed to present their results in front of all participants. The presentation of each group should not exceed 15 min..

Part I: Reading and summarizing

The different groups all deal with the same 6 texts which you find in the attached pdf-document. The texts should be divided within the group, so that not everyone has to read all the texts. Each participant reads the assigned text and prepares a short summary of it (bullet points). The main work in this first step consists in the exchange of themes, positions or arguments of all texts in each working group.
(45 min.)

Part II: Discussion and preparing the presentation

The group should elaborate the main issues and arguments and discuss the positions on the most important policy developments. The group should develop a creative way of presenting the results of their discussion, which should include the discussion-progress within the group.
Examples: Pro and contra discussion, role play, street theatre, round table debate, information session etc.
(60 min.)

Part III: Presentation

It is desirable that all group members are involved in presenting their results. It is also important to present the discussion-progress they had within the group. After the presentations there should be space for discussing and comparing the individual results of each group.
(45 – 60 min., depending on the number of groups)

Selected texts

TEXT 1: “Mixed Migration” – Challenges for New Responses to Human Right Protection to mixed migration flows
TEXT 2: The Drafting of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention – Progress in postwar refugee protection?
TEXT 3: The evolution of asylum policy in Europe from the 1950s to the New Millenium – Policy Responses to “Asylum crisis” in the 1980s and 1990s
TEXT 4: Refugee protection in the EU and the Nordics is collapsing – An NGO perspective
TEXT 5: Irregular migrants and challenges for Human Rights protection of today´s Europe
TEXT 6: Facilitating ratification: Addressing concerns and challenges to ratification of the Convention


Depending on the target group, the number of texts can be changed and varied. For an advanced training additional updated texts can be added and be downloaded from the Internet. Depending on the needs and previous knowledge, the trainer composes an adapted mixture of texts. Furthermore, the trainer has to take into account huge differences in discourses, traditions and performances of national asylum systems in Europe.

Useful links for additional information on the European and the national level are:
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
Amnesty International (ai)
European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
Global Campaign for Ratification of the Convention on Rights of Migrants