According to the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is… [a person who]… owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.


About Us:

The Research Centre for Refugee Studies (RCRS) was established in Amman, Jordan in 2003 to study the legal, political, socioeconomic, and humanitarian aspects of refugee issues. These themes are addressed by selected academic, political, and media professionals who are experts on refugee issues, particularly the plight of the Palestinian refugees.

The approach to studying the conditions of refugees is multidisciplinary and relies on International Law (especially in regards to State obligations), on economic factors, as well as on social and geographical considerations.

Our research team examines and analyses the conditions in the Arab world which affect both the refugees and the host countries.

Despite the many research centres that exist in the region today, the refugee matter has only been moderately studied and discussed at the public level. As a specialised centre in refugee issues, RCRS hopes to join efforts, and coordinate, with existing centres at both the local and the international levels and build on existing expertise to present a broader, more holistic approach to studying refugee issues.

In Addition, RCRS, with the help of local and international actors, hopes to find means of ensuring assistance and protection to refugees that would help them improve their living conditions.

With its research program, RCRS hopes to enrich, and contribute to, the existing literature on refugees especially that of the Palestinian refugees, and to assist policy-makers within the public sector, and other local as well as international institutions, to better understand the importance of ensuring the protection of the basic rights of refugees. Our rights-based approach constitutes a call for attention to the compromised rights of refugees and an attempt to promote the perception of the refugees by host societies as victims forced to live outside their homelands. By highlighting their humanitarian conditions, we hope to positively impact the livelihoods of refugee families; to counteract the traditional image of the refugee as a burden; and to encourage societies to treat the refugee as an asset and a potential participant in socioeconomic development.


The mission of RCRS is to research the legal, political, socioeconomic, and humanitarian aspects of refugee issues to create awareness among host societies, NGOs, and other stakeholders about the living conditions, needs, and the difficulties facing refugees in the Arab World.


RCRS aspires to become a leading centre in conducting research on refugees in the Arab World. By interacting and liaising with NGOs, centres, and other bodies working in refugee communities, RCRS aims to act as a voice which communicates the successes, concerns, needs, and difficulties facing Arab refugee communities to the world, and to link these communities to bodies that would best address these needs.

Internally, the vision of RCRS is to oversee and facilitate the activities of a team of experts in refugee issues, whether policy, media, or research oriented. This will be done by training existing staff and hosting freelance researchers during the course of their research on refugee-related issues in the Arab World. To this end, RCRS acts as an umbrella body which provides premises, resources, direction, and logistical assistance to local and international researchers.