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Asylum and indigeneity in the context of ongoing displacement on the Ecuadorian and Colombian border: a juridical and anthropological analysis.

(2018 - en cours)
Anne Lavanchy (principal investigator Switzerland, HETS-GE), Johannes Waldmüller (Universidad de Las Américas - UDLA, Quito - principal investigator, Latin America), Anne-Cécile Leyvraz (LARESS - EESP, Lausanne), Camilo Umana (Universidad Externado de Colombia)


This project aims to provide the basis for an innovative analysis of the concept of asylum. Typically addressed from a nation-state centric perspective, there are currently no studies offering “indigenous” perspectives. This knowledge gap is critical in regard to the growing impact of the accommodation of displaced persons in indigenous territories. The border region of Ecuador and Colombia, which has lately again become a melting pot of multiple interests and conflicts triggering displacement (Colombians, Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, etc.), offers an opportunity to launch combined applied legal and anthropological research on these issues.

Starting in 12/2018, this initial project will incorporate activities such as: delineation of the applicable legal framework and anthropological context; a kick-off event, field visits, realization of a workshop with legal experts from major indigenous associations (in Quito); delineation of key issues for the future research project on the basis of empirical data gathered in field visits; presentation of results and scaling-up in Geneva during the indigenous expert mechanism at the UN and in Bogotá; preparation and submission of a follow-up proposal to the Swiss Network of International Studies (January 20). This 12 month-long project represents a unique opportunity for scholars specialized in legal anthropology and indigeneity (both PIs), international and inter-American law (Swiss co-investigator) and Colombian and Ecuadorian laws (Colombian co-investigator). It will trigger a narrower collaboration allowing for a significant future project on issues that are likely to gain importance in the context of a global increase of displacement, a situation frequently experienced in indigenous territories


Seeds Money Grant University of St Gall (Centro Latinoamericano-Suizo)

Champs de recherche: 

Diversité et citoyenneté
Insertion et exclusion
Politiques publiques et sociales
Racisme, discrimination et droits humains