Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, OBE, Emerata Professor and Associate, is a legal anthropologist who founded/directed the Refugee Studies Centre (1982-96). Previously she conducted research in West Africa from 1967-1982, while employed by the Departments of Anthropology, University of Edinburgh & University of Illinois-Urbana, USA, the Afrika Studiecentrum, Leiden, Holland, the Faculty of Law, University of Warwick, and the American Universities Field Staff.
On retirement from the RSC, she conducted research in Kenya and Uganda (1997-2000) where she was Honorary Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research and fouded, with others, the Refugee Law Project. She then went on to live in Egyt where was Honorary Adjunct Professor, American University in Cairo (AUC) – 2000-2008. There she also began providing legal aid for refugees, first at African Studies, AUC, then at the the local NGO for Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. After two years it was transformed into African and Middle East Refugee Assistance or AMERA Egypt.
Barbara is also an awardee of the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology awarded by the American Anthropologist Association, and was awarded appointed an Honorary Fellow at Lady Margart Hall, University of Oxford in 2004, and the Lucy Mair medal for applied anthropology in 2014. She is now responsible for the information portal,www.refugeelegalaidinformation.org that promotes legal assistance for refugees around the world. In July 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctorate at the School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS).
AMERA International supports refugees in their search for solutions by assisting and encouraging NGOs and law firms around the world to offer pro bono legal advice on issues relating to asylum determination, settlement of migrants, family reunification and other matters relating to the enjoyment of fundamental human rights.
We advance education, in particular among lawyers and paralegals, in matters relating to forced migration and law affecting refugees globally.
We also seek to support organizations in the provision of psycho-social services for medical legal assessment as well as to enable refugees to present their testimonies at interviews conducted by state authorities or by the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and to help refugees deal emotionally and mentally with their past and present struggles.
We promote use of tools to support best practice in asylum seeker and refugee case management.