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Reading: Refugee and Displaced Women: 60 Years of Progress and Setbacks


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Refugee and Displaced Women: 60 Years of Progress and Setbacks


Susan Martin

Georgetown University, US
About Susan
Susan Martin is the Donald G. Herzberg Associate Professor of International Migration and serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
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2011 marks the anniversary of two important events in refugee protection. In 1951, the United Nations adopted the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Forty years later, in 1991, the Executive Committee of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) adopted Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women. Since 1991, there has been both progress and setbacks in providing equal and effective protection to both male and female refugees.  The article concludes that the gap between rhetoric and reality for women and girls is still very large. Following a brief discussion of the demographic profile of refugees, the article discusses issues related to legal protection, physical security, and social and economic rights for refugee and displaced women. The article call for renewed efforts to implement fully the various legal instruments and guidelines that set out norms and standards of protection for refugees generally and women and girls specifically and to ensure that refugee and displaced women are able to participate actively in decisions that affect them and their families.

How to Cite: Martin, S., 2011. Refugee and Displaced Women: 60 Years of Progress and Setbacks. Amsterdam Law Forum, 3(2), pp.72–91. DOI:
Published on 01 Apr 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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