The central theme of the conference is the cross-border portability of refugees’ and migrants’ personal status (age, parental status, marital status, etc.). It will address several legal problems encountered by refugees and migrants with regard to their personal status acquired in one country and taken along to another country.

People often wrongly expect that their personal status or a change in their personal status will easily be accepted abroad. However, reality often does not coincide with these expectations. Several legal questions/hurdles arise: How do people prove their family ties? How can families be reunited? How do unaccompanied refugee and migrant children prove their minority? How do asylum and migration authorities assess foreign documents that relate to the personal status of refugees and migrants, such as birth and marriage certificates? What happens if no (authentic) documents can be presented? How to combat fraud relating to personal status documents in an efficient manner without depriving migrants of their right to family life?
All these issues make private international law, migration law and human rights law interact.


The conference will bring together these three fields of law in a people-centred way.
One of the major (legal and policy) challenges in the current context of global migration is to improve the interactions between these different sets of rules in order to truly guarantee the right to respect for refugees' and migrants' personal and family life. The conference will put the spotlight on the ‘people’ (subject of all kinds of legal procedures). Therefore, the programme will be centred around three groups of people: persons in need of international protection, refugee and migrant children, migrants and their families. Both academics and experts with experience from the field will take and share the floor.