International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights

About the school

Due to ongoing wars and prolonged hostilities in several parts of the world, the number of persons seeking an international protection in the EU countries has rapidly grown, making access to asylum and a full refugee protection an important but challenging task. Based on previous success of CESI International Summer Schools in refugee protection (2012-2015) at University of Sarajevo, this year’s International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights, transferred to Palacký University Olomouc with long-standing tradition of humanitarian studies, will once again offer both general training in refugee law and a specific case-study analysis of the access to asylum and application of asylum rights in four countries of the Central and Southeastern Europe: Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia and the Czech Republic. The training offered on this school focuses on the legal procedures for assisting refugee asylum claims, including practices of taking testimonies, finding COI information and documenting families. It also includes a comprehensive one-day simulation of the humanitarian relief and assistance response. Principal aim is to advance the skills for protecting asylum seekers and to help exchange and build expert and cooperation networks in responding to the current challenges of access to international refugee protection in the EU countries.  


  • When: August, 10th – August, 19th, 2018
  • Registration deadline: May 31st
  • Credits: 12 ECTS
  • Early bird price: EUR 250 (prior May 15th)
  • Late registration price: EUR 350 (after May 15th)
  • Organiser: Humanitarian Studies Section, Palacký University Olomouc


The school is open to students and professionals from all academic disciplines and backgrounds. Our participants typically include staff from main refugee and humanitarian international organisations, regional and local refugee, human rights and humanitarian NGOs, government officials working on refugee protection, scholars and researchers working directly on forced migration issues as well as practicing lawyers, advocates, journalists and activists working on refugee protection and the human rights of forced migrants. 

Learning environment

The Summer School employs an interactive learning environment using combination of lectures, documentary films, debates and open discussions, enabling participants to both contribute to and gain an in-depth knowledge of asylum adjudication procedures. Instructors at the school are experienced and committed lawyers, scholars, practitioners and activists in the field that will bring a comparative and locally focused perspective to the international protection debate.


The training programme will cover the following modules:

I - General part


  • Assessment of 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol
  • The Relevance of International Human Rights Law to Flight from Persecution
  • UNHCR Guidelines on International Protection: “Membership of a particular social group” within the context of Article 1A (2).
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child: Unaccompanied Minor/Separated Children
  • UNHCR Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • The ethics of Refugee Law
  • Psycho-Social Issues: Medical Evidence in Asylum and Human Rights Appeals
  • Use of Country of origin Information assessment
  • Credibility Assessment in Asylum Procedures 

II - Regional focus / Central and Southeastern Europe


  • EU Asylum law and current challenges
  • Transit migration/’Corridor response’ and restricting practices of accessing asylum, including the push backs and detention practices
  • Asylum system and Refugee Status Determination procedures: country-specific focus on functionality and challenges
  • EU Refugee Relocation Scheme:  country-specific focus and analysis

III - Simulation exercise of a refugee crisis


  • Dr Marko Szilveszter Macskovich, Global Protection, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva
  • Prof. Dr Iris Goldner Lang, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law, UNESCO Chair on Free Movement of People, Migration and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, Faculty of Law - University of Zagreb
  • Dr Selma Porobic, Head of the Humanitarian studies section, Assistant Professor in International Humanitarian and Social Work, CMTF, Palacký University Olomouc
  • Dr Kveta Princova, External lecturer, Humanitarian Studies Section, CMTF, Palacký University Olomouc and Caritas College, Olomouc
  • Dr Agnieszka Zogata-Kusz, Assistant Professor in International Humanitarian and Social Work, CMTF, Palacký University Olomouc
  • Mgr Veronika Stastna, Assistant Professor in International Humanitarian and Social Work, CMTF, Palacký University Olomouc
  • Mgr Radostina Pavlova, Juris Doctor,  Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, Expert and Advocacy Officer at the Center for Legal Aid  - Voice in Bulgaria (CLA)
  • Mgr Friedrich Altenburg, Head of Centre for Migration, Integration and Security, Migration and Globalisation Department, Danube University Krems, Austria
  • Kristýna Andrlová, Protection Associate, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Czech Republic
  • Other guest lecturers invited for the panel debates/ TBC

How to apply

We invite you to register by sending the completed application form together with the motivation letter, CV the signed terms & conditions form, and a copy of your passport to  and before the 31st of May, 2018.


Admission fee

Early registration prior May 15th 250 EUR; Late registration after May 15th 350 EUR. Admission fee covers the full school programme with materials, supervision, tutoring, lunches during the 10-days long training, simulation excercise during the 10-days in-door training and outdoor activities.

Part of our policy is to support the refugee organisations in both staff capacity building and enabling them the establishment of a wider support and cooperation network for the greater benefit of serving refugees. For this reason, we can offer a school fee discount to participants from the organisations working directly with refugees.

Scholarship opportunities

Limited number of scholarships for students is available. For more information, please contact us prior March 20th.

Evaluation and awards

Evaluation consists of the in-class discussion and assignments with a practical simulation exercise, based on instructions received on the first day of the school and a guided group preparation. Upon successful completion of the school the participants are awarded with 12 ECTS points and the Graduate Participant Diploma from the Palacky University Olomouc.

Previous schools

You can also take a look at previous schools’ documentation and picture archives here


Admission fee does not include accommodation. Participants have the possibility to use the Palacký University Olomouc dormitories. Reservation of rooms for summer school participants was made at Bedřich Václavek Dormitory. For booking accommodation see here.

Visas and travel

For more information on visas and travel visit Visa & Travel page.

For details concerning visas and border-crossing conditions, please contact the embassy in your country, as these conditions vary around the world.

About Olomouc

Olomouc is a beautiful university city with rich history that is definitely worth seeing.

Click here to read more about it.

Click here to take a virtual walk through Olomouc!

Frequently asked questions

Is it advisable to have some background knowledge on the Central and Southeastern European countries focused during the school?

Understanding of human rights, background in social sciences and any experience of work with asylum seekers and refugees or research on asylum and migration issues is advisable. Basic background knowledge on the socio-political situation in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Czech Republic is also advisable for better understanding and future application of knowledge acquired on the school. However, this course is about the application of the international refugee convention in the Central and Southeastern region of Europe, and focuses specifically on the EU common refugee policy, so those without knowledge of it will benefit as well.

Will the summer course primarily deal with law in the specific countries of the EU?

The focus of the summer school is on the Geneva Convention and the international refugee protection and law. However, the specific focus is also given to the application of the refugee law and asylum seekers rights in the Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.

Is the school program primarily focused on the law and legal protection issues or also on the consequences/social dimensions and practices of law?

The application of the law itself in practice is strongly connected with the social dimension and consequences that those practices imply. Understanding asylum policies and applied practices involves also political, economic, cultural and psycho-social context of forced migrants. To learn more from the previous schools and participants’ experiences have a look at the concluding reports and comments on the following links:



What will be the admission criteria? Are they stringent?

Admission criteria involve the Motivation Letter acknowledging the experience and interests in the forced migration field and your CV. There is a registration quota of 30 students, which we consider an ideal number of participants for the interactive learning at the school. Generally, we look for the diversity in participants’ educational and experience/practice backgrounds in order to have constructive and productive exchange between the participants during and after the school.

Is it correct that you get 12 ECTS for this school and a Certificate of Participation?

Participation in the school brings you 12 ECTS points and there will be a group examination for this reason focusing on your performance during the simulation exercise. Details will be given beginning of the school and tutors will be assigned to the each group. We also focus on the team work and presentations throughout the school as well as group discussions as a proof of acquired knowledge and engagement on the school.  

Is there any accommodation during the school?

Admission fee does not include accommodation. Participants have the possibility to use the Palacký University Olomouc dormitories. Reservation of rooms for summer school participants was made at Generála Svobody Dormitory. For booking accommodation see here

If I apply, how long does it approximately take to know if I can participate?

We will respond to your application within two weeks from submission.

Do you already know the deadline for applying?

The registration is now open and will continue until the 31st of May. There is an Early Bird Registration until May 15th.