Refugee Rights in Records Symposium, 9 August 2018

Refugee Rights in Records Symposium


Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin, 9 August 2018



In late 2016 the United Nations (UN) estimated that the numbers of forcibly displaced persons had exceeded more than 65.6 million people worldwide. Displacement crises raise complex interacting issues about nation-states, laws, borders, human rights, citizenship and identity, security, resource allocation and information and communication technologies (ICT).  Integral to this complexity, documentation and particularly official records are pervasive and fundamental yet somehow rarely conspicuous.  Much attention has been focused on official verification of identities and citizenship of displaced persons, vetting them for security risks, reunifying families, and determining whether or not they qualify for asylum and resettlement. However the issues which refugees and other displaced persons confront in accessing, carrying and producing the kinds of authoritative documentation required for these processes remain under-addressed.

This one day symposium in University College Dublin will bring together speakers from a range of backgrounds: people with experience of coming to Ireland as refugees and asylum seekers, those who assist and advocate for them and record keepers and archivists who manage the official records of the process.   The symposium is one of a series of workshops taking place across the globe in 2018 to highlight the issues linked to rights in records for refugees and asylum seekers.

Programme of Speakers

9.30-10 Registration

Session 1: Coming to Ireland as a Refugee: Experiences with Records and Archives


10.00 Captain Daniel Ayiotis, Irish Military Archives, ‘The developing archival heritage of asylum seekers in the Republic of Ireland’
10. 20 Lassane Ouedraogo, CONNECT Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin – ‘Experiences with state records’
10. 40 Vukašin Nedeljković, Dublin City University- Creating the Asylum Archive

11.20 Coffee Break


Session 2: Helping Refugees establish Rights in Records: Challenges and Solutions

11. 40 Colin Lenihan, Immigrant Council of Ireland: ‘Privacy and Identity in the Irish Immigration System’
12. 00 Noeleen Healy, Legal Aid Board: ‘A refugee's personal data rights’
12. 20 Phillipa Metcalfe, University of Cardiff, ‘Data Justice: Towards an Understanding of Digital Borders and Datafied Identities’

12. 50 Lunch


Session 3: The historic role of archives in addressing refugee crises

2.00 Graham Jackson, Public Record Office Northern Ireland. ‘Refugee Records at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland’
2.20 Elizabeth McEvoy, National Archives, Ireland: ‘Refugee Records at the National Archives, Ireland’
2.40 Deirdre Mulrooney, University of Limerick, ‘Unearthing the Bohemian Refugee narrative of Erina Brady at Cathal Brugha Barracks’.

3.15 Comfort Break

3.30 Professor Anne Gilliland, UCLA, and James Lowry, University of Liverpool, ‘Reflecting on refugee rights in Records’.