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Ivor C. Jackson, key figure in shaping UNHCR protection mandate dies

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Ivor C. Jackson, key figure in shaping UNHCR protection mandate dies

8 December 2014

Dr Ivor C. Jackson, who played a crucial role in developing UNHCR's international refugee protection mandate, has died in Geneva on 5 December, aged 86.

Dr Jackson joined the agency in 1958 and during his 30 years with UNHCR, became known as one of the leading experts on the 1951 refugee convention, which underpins UNHCR's activities.

Ivor Jackson championed liberal views, arguing for example that it was a "vicious interpretation" of the convention for countries to refuse asylum requests on the grounds that claimants faced persecution from non-state agents.

He was also the author of several highly acclaimed academic publications, including "The Refugee Concept in Group Situations" in which he argued that the increasing emergence of new mass refugee situations arising from violence, internal conflict or human rights violations, should not erode the basic concepts of refugee protection, arguing for a single refugee concept very much applicable in these situations.

Dr Jackson served in a succession of senior posts, including notably in UNHCR's Division of International Protection.

"Ivor Jackson was in a real sense the father of protection as we know it in the UNHCR today and we owe him a real debt in our ongoing work; the best way we can remember him is to keep striving to uphold the protection values and standards which he stood for," said Volker Türk, Director of International Protection at UNHCR in Geneva.

Ivor Jackson is survived by his wife, Fiorella Badiani Jackson.

Those wishing to contribute to the condolence book are asked to send their contributions to [email protected], mentioning "Condolence book for Ivor Jackon" in the subject line.