Forced Migration

20 September-31 October 2017 (E07217) | Register for this course (page opens in new window)
Instructor: Saeed Ullah Khan

Forced migration is one of today’s major international challenges and lies at the heart of the fundamental concepts of humanity and equality. War, conflict, environmental and human catastrophes, as well as the effects of globalisation and economic polarisation, compels individuals to move in search of safety and stability. This e-learning course introduces participants to the international and regional systems and standards of refugee protection from historical, legal, theoretical and practical perspectives. It also analyses special protection mechanisms such as complementary or temporary protection. The mounting challenges to refugee protection resulting from a growth in mixed migration, and rising xenophobia will also be examined. The linkages between human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law are analysed in views of states’ compliance with legal and ethical obligations. Special attention is given to the three durable solutions for refugees (repatriation, local integration and resettlement) and reflects on some of the key challenges presented by each of them.

The particular challenges presented by complex emergencies and mass influxes are discussed as are the responses developed by the international community to effective humanitarian aid delivery, such as the “cluster approach”. The critical importance of approaching refugee populations as heterogeneous groups with differing needs and resources is explained, and approaches to the identification of and response to special protection needs of vulnerable individuals within the community discussed.

Course structure

This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructor, webinars, quizzes and a writing assignment, and is offered over a six-week period. The course will integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1. Introduction to forced migration – history of population movements, evolution of refugee regime and basic concepts
Week 2. International and regional frameworks for refugee protection – Geneva Convention of 1951 and 1967 Protocol, Cartagena Declaration and OAU Convention
Week 3. Contemporary challenges of forced migration: mixed migration, human trafficking, complex emergencies and mass influxes
Week 4. Division of roles and responsibilities: governments (host/donor), UNHCR, NGOs; inter-agency co-operation and the Cluster Approach
Week 5. The search for durable solutions as an integral part of protecting refugees: key challenges in a shrinking world
Week 6. Participatory needs assessment of refugee populations; identification of and response to individuals with special protection needs

About the instructor: Saeed Ullah Khan

Saeed Ullah KhanSaeed Ullah Khan has extensive experience in forced migration and related issues in the humanitarian field. Originally from Pakistan, he has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Rescue Committee and other organisations in Somalia, Kosovo, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Georgia, Jordan, Afghanistan and Pakistan – which has provided him with first-hand experience in some of the major emergency situations in the last decade. He currently works as an independent consultant and advisor on humanitarian issues with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Pakistan. Prior to this, he worked as Country Director with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Pakistan, managing an annual response of USD 24 million for IDPs, refugees and returnees. He is actively involved in the development of forced migration strategies in Pakistan for different INGOs and donor agencies. Mr. Khan is a World Bank Robert McNamara Fellow and a British Commonwealth Scholar. He holds an MA in Development Economics from the University of Sussex (UK) and received advanced training from Oxford and Harvard Universities. 

Who should apply

The course is aimed at practitioners and professionals who want to gain knowledge in the field of forced migration, government officials (local and national level) dealing with forced migration and refugee-related issues; staff of inter-governmental organisations such as the IOM and UNHCR; NGO staff members and service providers; and students of law, international relations, politics and social science. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 435 (after 1 July 2017: US$ 495); tuition for auditors: US$ 165 (US$ 195 after 1 July 2017). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal and bank transfer (additional fee applies). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Register for this course (page opens in new window).

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.

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