SOAS University of London

About SOAS

Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond OBE

Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond OBE

Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond OBE, Emerata Professor and Associate, is a legal anthropologist who founded/directed the Refugee Studies Centre (1982- 96). Previously she was conducting research in West Africa from 1967-1982, while employed by the Departments of Anthropology, University of Edinburgh and University of Illinois-Urbana,USA, the Afrika Studiecentrum, Leiden, Holland, and the Faculty of Law, University of Warwick.

On retirement from the Refugee Studies Centre, she conducted research in Kenya and Uganda (1997-2000), and was Honorary Adjunct Professor, American University in Cairo (2000-2008).

She was awarded an OBE in 2005 for “services to refugee and forced migration studies”. She is an awardee of the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology awarded by the American Anthropologist Association, and, in 2014 was awarded the Lucy Mair medal for applied anthropology. She founded an information portal which is designed for lawyers representing refugees and which promotes legal assistance for refugees around the world – International Refugee Rights Initiative.

The general aim of this website is to bring the host of relevant resources available for refugee lawyers together in one place and to encourage a global exchange amongst them. With her Co-Director, Themba Lewis and assisted by a host of interns, Dr Harrell- Bond oversees the development and growth of the information portal. Interns work in Oxford under her supervision for periods of three to six months and she has recruited a group of senior lawyers who are prepared to assist other lawyers dealing for the fi rst time with asylum cases that are especially di cult.