Beyond Relief and Rehabilitation: UNRRA in Historical Perspective, 1943-1947Samantha K Knapton (Newcastle University) and Katherine Rossy (Queen Mary University London)
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, or UNRRA, was the first truly international humanitarian effort to prevent famine, destitution, and disease after a major conflict. Until the creation of UNRRA in 1943, war and post-war relief was predominantly carried out by charities, philanthropic individuals, or societies, each of which had independent aims and motives. Between its creation in 1943 and its closure in 1947, UNRRA provided emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation to millions of refugees and displaced persons (DPs) who fell under its mandate. UNRRA’s action in the international arena marked a watershed moment in international relations, human rights, and refugee humanitarianism. In shaping migration policy and conflict resolution and reconstruction processes, the Administration established a precedent for the emergence of the modern-day United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as well as for future UN specialised agencies, such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO. In many ways, UNRRA can be viewed as a lens through which we can understand present-day challenges in the world today.
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck, University of London) as our keynote speaker.
This one-day workshop, which will be held on Thursday, June 28th 2018 at Newcastle University, will bring together like-minded scholars and experts of UNRRA with the aim of revealing how humanitarian needs conflicted with administrative and political restrictions within the context of WWII and its immediate aftermath.
This workshop is supported by Newcastle University’s Humanities Research Institute (NUHRI), the Cultural Significance of Place (CSoP), and the International Studies in Forced Migration Group. Thanks to generous funding, there will be no attendance fee and will include refreshments, a luncheon, and a wine reception. Registration details will be announced well in advance of the workshop date.