Dissertation prize: Respect for Refugee Rights

01 Aug 2016  Thesis prize organised by the Dutch Council for Refugees and the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague

This competition is intended to stimulate both bachelors and masters research concerning the (lack of) protection of refugees in the regions where they come from, as well as in transit countries. It is aimed at (former) students attached to a Dutch or Belgian University or Hogeschool (Applied University), regardless of their disciplinary focus (see conditions).


The Dutch Council for Refugees stands up for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in The Netherlands and helps them build a new life for themselves in this country. But refugee protection knows no boundaries. Around 86% of all refugees worldwide are forced to find refuge closer to home. Only a very small proportion of these refugees come to Europe, and even a smaller percentage ends up in The Netherlands.


Based on principles of international solidarity, which are also enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention, we want to attract more attention to the need to strengthen protection capacity in countries where the majority of refugees reside. The Dutch Council for Refugees has an International Programme, established in order to improve the rights protection of asylum seekers and refugees in countries at the borders of Europe, and to strengthen the capacity of our sister organisations working on these issues.


The thesis prize is organised in co-operation with The Hague-based International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is originally an initiative of the former 3R Foundation (Respect for Refugee Rights), which was founded in The Netherlands in 2003 and was dissolved in 2013. Throughout its existence, the 3R Foundation supported and/or worked closely with a diverse range of legal service and advocacy organisations focussed on different areas of refugee protection, including:

• Lawyers for Human Rights (South Africa)

• Refugee Rights Turkey (formerly the Helsinki Citizens Assembly)

• BADIL Resource Centre (Palestine)

• Forum for the Protection of Peoples’ Rights (Nepal)

• African and Middle East Refugee Assistance (Egypt)

• and Refugee Law Project (Uganda)


The evaluation of these dissertations will be carried out by a selection committee of at least 3 members, each of whom have much experience and knowledge in this area of study. The thesisprize is € 500.


The presentation of the prizes (one bachelors and one masters) will take place in the autumn of 2016.



• The topic of the dissertation should address any aspect of refugee protection outside The Netherlands and Europe.

• Dissertations from any academic discipline (for example law, economics, anthropology, political science, sociology, geography, development studies) are eligible.

• The dissertation must have been written between June 2015 and September 2016.

• Submitted dissertations must have received a minimal score of 8.0.


Please submit:

• 1) your dissertation, accompanied by 2) a recommendation letter from your thesis supervisor

• to: respectforrefugeerights@vluchtelingenwerk.nl

• between 20 June (World Refugee Day) and 1 September 2016


For further information or questions about the thesis prize, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: respectforrefugeerights@vluchtelingenwerk.nl 


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