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UN High Commissioner for Refugees Essay Competition

UNHCR and Centre for Human Rights, Addis Ababa University Award for Research on Forced Displacement in Africa

UNHCR and Addis Ababa University’s Centre for Human Rights (CHR-AAU) invite African university students at the graduate (Masters or Doctoral) level to submit research essays on the topic of forced displacement in Africa to an essay competition being held in connection with the African Union’s (AU) theme of 2019: ‘The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions for Forced Displacement in Africa’ and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the AU Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention).

The deadline for submissions is 17:00 Addis Ababa time on 31 December 2019.

Competition Guidelines:

Topic Any research essay of no more than 3,000 words (including any cover page, table of contents, footnotes, bibliography, etc…) that offers a clear contribution on the topic of refugees and/or IDPs in Africa. Research may come from any relevant discipline (including but not limited to economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, politics or sociology), or may be interdisciplinary. The research may be theoretical, or it may incorporate empirical/field research findings.

Eligibility To enter, as of the deadline (31 December 2019), you must be: • Aged 18 or over; • A national of, or ordinarily resident in, an AU member state; and • Registered at the graduate (Masters or Doctoral) level at a recognised university in an AU member state. Additionally, your essay: • Must be written in English; • Must be endorsed by a faculty member from your university; and • May have been submitted for course credit or prepared exclusively for this competition.

Jury An internal jury composed of UNHCR experts and CHR-AAU faculty will screen all entries. The most accomplished works will be forwarded to an expert jury composed of international experts.

Submission procedure Submit your essay in PDF format to, and before 17:00 Addis Ababa time on 31 December 2019. Make sure to include: • Your full name; • Your date of birth; • Your phone number and email address; • Your nationality or country of habitual residence; • The name of the university where you are registered; • Proof of registration; and • An endorsement in PDF format of no more than 200 words written by a faculty member from your university.

Selection criteria The internal and expert juries will judge entries by the following criteria: • Quality of writing; • Quality of research; • Timeliness and importance of topic; and • Contribution to increasing understanding of forced displacement in Africa.

Prize The winning essay will be published on-line by UNHCR and CHR-AAU and the winner will receive a prize of US$1,000. Winners will be announced in May 2020.


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