Certificate Program Migration & Asylum

HREA will be launching a new certificate program Migration & Asylum. Further details on the certificate program will be become available in January. As part of the certificate program the following three e-learning courses are upcoming: Migration and Asylum (Foundation Course) and EU Migration and Asylum Law and Policies from 13 February-26 March 2013 and Psychosocial Consequences of Migration and Asylum from 6 March-16 April 2013.

Course instructor: Albert Kraler

International migration is increasingly drawing the attention of policy makers, practitioners and societies at large. Issues related to security and economic instability between and within countries are pushing the international legal and political frameworks to become more complex, thus posing serious challenges to the protection of migrant’s rights. Transnational population movements are not a new phenomenon. The overall current figures do not differ much from those of some decades ago: the share of migrants in the world population has remained stable, at 3%. However, what has changed over time are some of the push and pull factors (such as the environmental degradation in certain countries or new labor market needs in the global north) as well as the routes and means for mobility, drawn by changes in the policy frameworks and rapidly growing rates of urbanisation in developing countries and emerging economies, coupled with new forms of conflicts in certain regions. Consequently, while geographical mobility is arguably part of the human nature, its forms, patterns, dynamics, meanings and impacts are highly contextual.

This e-learning course introduces its participants to basic conceptual and theoretical issues concerning migration, including ways to distinguish between different forms of migration, its causes and consequences. The course will also present historical as well as current trends and figures as well as the main international, regional and national policy and operational approaches and challenges regarding this human phenomenon. The course understands migration in generic terms, i.e. as any movement over geographical distance involving a minimum stay at the place of origin and the place of destination. We will hence cover both voluntary and forced forms of migration, regular and irregular movements and diverse specific reasons why people choose to move.

Course outline
Week 1. Introduction to Main Concepts in Migration Discourse
Week 2. Global Trends in Migration and Data Sources
Week 3. Forced versus Voluntary Migration
Week 4. The Regulation of International Migration – Legal and Policy Frameworks
Week 5. International Migration and Social Justice
Week 6. Migration and Development

For more detailed information and online registration, please visit:

Course instructors: Dr. Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Dr. Violeta Moreno-Lax

Composed of 27 Member States that were traditionally sending countries, but which have become key destinations for migrants and refugees from all over the world in the past half century, the EU is one of the central players in the international community in terms of migration and asylum legislation and policies. The last few years have also seen the resurgence of emigration flows from some EU Member States into other countries and regions in the world. This is coupled with the creation of an Internal Market where free movement of EU citizens in ensured and the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice whose external borders are jointly controlled.

A number of complex policies and legislation have therefore been adopted in order to address these phenomena while cooperating with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum. For those living and working outside the EU, understanding its migration system can be a true challenge. This course will focus on the various aspects of EU immigration and asylum law, in particular: institutional aspects; the development of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS); policies on legal migration, including admission of immigrants for labour migration; the rights of third-country nationals in the EU, and their integration in European societies; irregular migration, and measures to combat it; border controls and border security; the external dimension of EU action, including relations with third countries in the fields of return of irregular migrants, readmission agreements and the protection of asylum seekers and refugees.

Course outline
Week 1. Introduction to EU policy and legislation on immigration and asylum
Week 2. Irregular migration in the European Union
Week 3. Admission of third-country nationals to the EU
Week 4. Rights and integration of third-country nationals
Week 5. Borders in the EU: Schengen, visas, carrier sanctions, ILOs & Frontex
Week 6. The development of a Common European Asylum System II

For more detailed information and online registration, please visit:

Course instructor: Dr. Nancy Baron

Migration, be it voluntary or forced (escaping wars, conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies), can have complicated consequences at the social and psychological levels of individuals concerned. After leaving the stability of home, country and culture, migrants are exiled into countries where they often feel alienated, isolated and struggle from discrimination and violations of their basic human rights. As a practitioner, humanitarian worker, policy maker or researcher, it is vital to understand the psychosocial consequences of migration.

This e-learning course introduces the psychosocial and mental health consequences of migration and the practical issues related to the provision of multidisciplinary culturally sensitive interventions. It will also address the issue of the stress experienced by humanitarian practitioners while working with affected populations.

Course outline
Week 1 Overview of the psychosocial and mental health consequences of migration
Week 2. The Inter Agency Standing Committee Guidelines (IASC) for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for Emergency Settings and their implications for intervention
Week 3. Skills to assess problems, needs and resources
Week 4. Culturally and contextually sensitive interviewing skills and working with translators
Week 5. Introduction to individual, family and community interventions for populations living in camps and urban contexts
Week 6. Specific mechanisms workers and organisations can use to minimize staff burnout and maximise organisational effectiveness

For more detailed information and online registration, please visit: 


The courses involves approximately 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructors, webinars and quizzes, and is offered over a 6-week period. The courses integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. The maximum number of course participants is 25.


The courses are aimed at practitioners and professionals who want to gain knowledge in the field of migration and asylum such as: government officials dealing with migration and related issues (at local and national levels); EU policy makers; national authorities of EU and non-EU countries dealing with migration and asylum policies; staff of inter-governmental organisations such as the IOM and UNHCR; NGO staff members and service providers and students of law, international relations, politics and social sciences, among other. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution among the selected participants. The maximum number of course participants is 25. It also possible to audit the courses. A Certificate of Participation will be awarded upon successful completion of the courses.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 435 (25% discount) if paid by 15 December 2012; $ 490 (15% discount) if paid by 15 January 2013; $ 575 after 15 January 2013.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions!

Best wishes,

Paula Carello

Paula Carello, Program Director Migration & Asylum
Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)
689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-3302 USA
Tel: +1 617 301-4379 | Fax: +1 617 249-0278
E-mail: p.carello@hrea.org | Web: www.hrea.org

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