Imprisoning Schindler: Responding to the legal vulnerability of those who aid refugees

The Society's 114th Annual Meeting—and first Virtual Annual Meeting—took place June 25–26, 2020. The 2020 Annual Meeting theme, "The Promise of International Law," was an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of international law, while reaffirming our commitment to achieving its promise of a more just and peaceful world.

Sponsored by the World Justice Project

The truth is that international refugee law (Art. 31) does not protect those who assist refugees, but only refugees themselves, against penalties. Hundreds of volunteers and aid workers across a number European countries have been arrested, charged or investigated for supporting persons seeking protection in the past five years and now the United States Government is following suit. Against that backdrop, this problem-solving exercise will provide a forum for international law experts on the panel and in the audience to actively think about whether other non-refugee bodies of international law, including, for example international humanitarian law, international human rights law, law of the sea, the principle of good faith, might productively be brought to bear. At this interactive event, you will hear from those who have been criminalized for helping refugees, and be part of dynamic and creative discussion exploring the promise of international law for those who have faced official sanction for aiding their fellow humans.

Kate Jastram, University of California Hastings College of Law (Moderator)
Gregory Kuykendall, Kuykendall Law LLP
Obiora Okafor, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada
Frances Weber, Institute of Race Relations
(Speaker organizations are shown as of June 2020)