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At an extraordinary time of interconnectedness, new spirals of tribalism and discrimination are also appearing around the world. In this special session, one of the world’s most exciting thinkers and speakers, Professor E Tendayi Achiume, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, will survey the scene, in conversation with acclaimed lawyer and writer, Nyadol Nyuon. What is the impact on refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants? Is international law helping them, or failing to provide protection? Does it contain its own racial biases? What has the pandemic revealed about racism, segregation and inclusion today – and what are our hopes, and challenges, for the future?

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About the speakers

Professor E Tendayi Achiume is Professor of Law at the at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. She is also the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and is the first woman to serve in this role since its creation in 1994. The current focus of her scholarship is the global governance of racism and xenophobia; and the legal and ethical implications of colonialism for contemporary international migration. In 2016, she co-chaired the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law. She is also a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award—the highest university-wide honor for excellence in teaching. Her publications include: 'Migration as Decolonization', (Stanford Law Review); 'Governing Xenophobia', (Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law); 'Syria, Cost-Sharing and the Responsibility to Protect Refugees', (Minnesota Law Review); and 'Beyond Prejudice: Structural Xenophobic Discrimination Against Refugees', (Georgetown Journal of International Law).

Nyadol Nyuon is a lawyer, community advocate, writer and accomplished public speaker. She was born in a refugee camp in Itang, Ethiopia, and raised in Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya. In 2005, at the age of eighteen, she moved to Australia as a refugee. Since then, she has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne. She now works as a commercial litigator with Arnold Bloch Leibler. A vocal advocate for human rights, multiculturalism, the settlement of people with refugee experiences and those seeking asylum, she has worked and volunteered extensively in these areas and is a regular media commentator. In 2011 and 2014, she was nominated as one of the hundred most influential African Australians. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Future Justice Prize. In 2018, she was recognised with the Australian Human Rights Commission’s ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ Award, for her advocacy on behalf of the Australian-African and Melbourne’s South Sudanese communities. She also received the Harmony Alliance Award for significant contribution to empowering migrant and refugee women, and was a co-winner of the Tim McCoy Prize for her advocacy on behalf of the South Sudanese Community. She also received the Afro-Australian Student Organisation‘s Unsung Hero Award. 


The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.