UNHCR The UN Refugee Agencyhelsinki-logo


   Jens Vedsted-Hansen

Editorial Board:
Nuria Arenas-Hidalgo
Alice Edwards
Maryellen Fullerton
Madeline Garlick
Elspeth Guild
Fatima Khan
Hélène Lambert
Juan Carlos Murillo González
Boldizsár Nagy
Sylvie Sarolea
Priyanca Mathur Velath


Welcome to the Seventh Edition of The Refugee Law Reader, a comprehensive on-line model curriculum for the study of the complex and rapidly evolving field of international asylum and refugee law. We are proud that the Seventh Edition continues the Reader’s expansion and that it is even more comprehensive in scope than prior editions.  We are committed to providing a ‘universal’ view of refugee protection that teachers and scholars around the globe can study and analyze.  The Seventh Edition begins with two sections that focus on international refugee law; in recognition of important regional legal developments, the following four sections focus, in turn, on the legal frameworks for refugee protection in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.  In addition to this Seventh Edition in English, we continue our commitment to produce independent editions, each with a specific regional focus, in French, Russian and Spanish. In this way The Refugee Law Reader is better able to serve a global community.

The Reader is aimed for the use of professors, lawyers, advocates and students across a wide range of national jurisdictions. It provides a flexible course structure that can be easily adapted to meet a range of training and resource needs. The Reader also offers access to the complete texts of up-to-date core legal materials, instruments, and academic commentary. In its entirety, the Refugee Law Reader is designed to provide a full curriculum for a 48 hour course in International Refugee Law and contains over 1500 documents and materials.

The Refugee Law Reader appeared on line for the first time in April 2004. As a 'living book', new editions of The Reader continue to include the basic legal instruments and documents, as well as reflect the most important recent developments.  The Seventh Edition includes significant international refugee law materials that appeared up to October 2014.

The time you spend with The Refugee Law Reader will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of international refugee law.  To learn more about how to use The Reader, please visit the About the Reader section.