Asylum and refugees in Africa and Latin America: regional models for refugee protection in the global south


This module explores the regional frameworks and approaches for refugee movements in Africa and Latin America.

Topics covered

The module draws attention to the strong similarities between the African and Latin American contexts in terms of the nature of refugee problems and the regional responses adopted, including:

  • The proud history of regional and constitutional forms of asylum in the post-colonial era on the continents of Africa and Latin America
  • The broad dynamics of refugee movements in the two continents
  • African Union (AU) system for the protection of refugees, and the role of human rights institutions in addressing displacement in the African context
  • The 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees as the basis for regional protection in the Latin American context and the framework for the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers through human rights law

Learning outcomes

The module seeks to impart a solid critical understanding of the key components, standards and mechanisms of the African and Latin American asylum systems. You will learn how to evaluate comparatively the connections between refugee protection, political asylum and human rights in contexts outside the global North and construct, advance and defend legal and policy arguments based on regional asylum law in Africa and the Americas.


This elective module is assessed via a 4,000-word research essay, which comprises 70% of the overall grade, and three online assessments (E-tivities), which make up 30% of the overall grade.

Module team

Dr Tamara Wood RPFMS tutor

Dr Tamara Wood - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Tamara is an expert in African regional refugee law and forced migration. She is a Centre Affiliate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales; an external researcher at the RefMig Project, Hertie School of Berlin, and a Research Affiliate at the Refugee Law Initiative, University of London. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Platform on Disaster Displacement and a former member of the Consultative Committee for the Nansen Initiative on Disaster-Induced Cross-Border Displacement.

Tamara has published on refugee law issues in leading international law journals and lectured in refugee and human rights law at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Prior to academic work, Tamara worked as a refugee advocate in Australia, assisting onshore refugee applicants with their claims for asylum.

Member institution: School of Advanced Study
Luisa Freier module tutor for SAS

Dr Luisa Feline Freier - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Luisa is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Universidad del Pacífico (Lima, Peru). Her research focuses on migration and refugee policies and laws in Latin America, south migration and the Venezuelan displacement crisis. She has published widely in both academic and media outlets, and has been interviewed on the Venezuelan displacement crisis in international media, including BBC, El País, La Presse and The Economist.

Luisa has provided advice to various international institutions and organizations such as Amnesty International, ICRC, IDB, IOM, ICMPD, UNHCR, the World Bank and the EU. She is Migration Research and Publishing High-Level Adviser of the International Maritime Organization (IOM).

Member institution: School of Advanced Study