Francesca P. Albanese
UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Huan Rights in the Palestinian Territories
Francesca P. Albanese is an international lawyer and researcher and the author of various publications and opinions on the question of Palestinian refugees, the longest and most protracted refugee situation since WWII. Together with Lex Takkenberg, she has recently authored a new book Palestinian refugees in International Law (OUP, June 2020), which provides a comprehensive overview of the Palestinian refugee question from its origins to present day, through a rigorous legal and historical account. While being a new edition of Takkenberg’s seminal work The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law (OUP 1998), Albanese&Takkenberg’s is a new book on the foundation of the first edition, with new contents, from archival and doctrinal research, review of recent case law and jurisprudence, and new literature on the matter. On top of a clear analysis of the status of Palestinian refugees under various branches of international law –such as IHL, IHRL, IRL, the framework to protect stateless persons– and the ‘distinctive’ regime set up for Palestinian refugees within the international refugee framework (including UNRWA and UNHCR), the book meticulously analyses the status and treatment of Palestinian refugees in about sixty countries across the world and proposes a framework to advance international protection for, and solutions to end the over seventy-year-old plight of, this refugee group.
Prior to becoming a full-time researcher, Francesca worked for ten years with the United Nations (2003-2013), including the UNRWA Department of Legal Affairs (based in Jerusalem), dealing primarily with the implementation of a human rights approach through the work of the agency in support to its protection function; UNDP (Morocco), supporting inclusive and participatory approaches through governance and local development initiatives; and the UN OHCHR (based in Geneva), with a portfolio covering national human rights institutions in the MENA and then the Asia-Pacific region), During that time, her work focused on strengthening independence and effectiveness of national human rights institutions, including in the area of the prevention of torture. Other professional experiences include advising governments and civil society in the MENA region and South East Asia on human rights issues, the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, and monitoring fairness and transparency of electoral processes (e.g. EU mission in Haiti, Guinea Bissau, and Pakistan).
While in Washington DC (2013-2015) Francesca worked for an American NGO (Project Concern International) as Technical Advisor on protection issues during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Francesca lectures on ‘the question of Palestinian refugees in context’, in a number of universities and research centers, including the MICAD program of the University of Bethlehem, where she also supervises master students’ theses.
Francesca holds an LL.M from SOAS (in Human Rights) and a BA in Law from the University of Pisa (cum laude). She is an affiliate with ISIM as of 2015 (non-resident since 2016) and also to the Issam Fares Institute of the American University of Beirut.