You are here:

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

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
Cleo Hanen-Lohry

Cleo Hanen-Lohry

Cleo Hansen-Lohrey is an Australian lawyer and doctoral candidate at the University of Tasmania (Australia). Her PhD thesis is titled: ‘Interpreting and applying the term “public order” in Africa’s expanded refugee definition’. Her research focuses on international and regional (African and Latin American) refugee law, human rights, treaty interpretation law and displacement in the context of climate change. She has a Master of Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne. She is also a sessional academic at the University of Tasmania, teaching core subjects on public law, administrative law and international law.

She worked for a number of years in the legal, not-for-profit and government sectors. Her previous roles include: Senior Legal Officer for the Australian Department of Immigration, focusing on litigation and refugee law; and Humanitarian Observer for the Australian Red Cross, leading humanitarian monitoring visits to Australia’s mainland and Christmas Island immigration detention facilities.