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Refugee naturalisation and integration

The 1951 Refugee Convention postulates that the ‘Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalisation of refugees. They shall, in particular, make every effort to expedite naturalisation proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings.’ While the Convention places no naturalisation requirement on the host country, it favours integration therein through its time and ties approach to the incremental acquisition of rights as well as the fact that it includes no explicit provisions on voluntary repatriation. Yet, exploring global practices reveals that many refugee hosting countries prioritise (voluntary) repatriation and at the expense of naturalisation and integration. Absent naturalisation, the limits of local integration encompassing ‘self-reliance’ and a form of ‘social citizenship’ must be acknowledged.

A light lunch will be included from 12pm.