International protection and the Global Compacts in the time of Covid-19: lessons and challenges from South(ern) Africa

This Expert Forum has been convened to take stock of the role of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in South(ern) Africa, two years after their adoption. It will examine the extent to which the GCR and GCM are influencing the implementation of South Africa’s legal and institutional frameworks surrounding refugee and migrant protection in cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The Forum will also explore the unique challenges the global COVID-19 pandemic has created in terms of implementation of the two Compacts at the city, national, and regional levels. Equally, looking forward, the Forum will ask if the pandemic may offer some opportunities to utilize the Compacts further to improve international protection structures for refugees and migrants. For example, by developing more inclusive ‘whole of society’ approaches to healthcare systems at the local and municipality level.

The Forum is part of “PROTECT The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization?”

PROTECT is an EU funded research project which studies the impact of the UN’s Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration on refugees’ right to international protection. The vision of PROTECT is to discover ways of advancing the international protection system within today’s turbulent political context. We consist of 11 partner universities in Europe, Canada, and South Africa. More information can be found on the project website:

Date: 26th November 2020

Time: 1.30 – 3.15pm SAST


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The PROTECT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 870761. The content of this event does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the organizers.