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Francesca Albanese

Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory: the story you choose to tell

Tuesday, 14 November 2023

The National Press Club of Australia

Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territory, will address the National Press Club of Australia on why previous approaches in Israel and Palestine have failed, and why we need to recast our approach based on self-determination and human rights.

Francesca Albanese is a highly respected human rights lawyer, researcher and author. She has worked for over twenty years as a human rights expert for the United Nations, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees. In these capacities, she advised the UN, governments, and civil society across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Asia Pacific, on the enforcement of human rights norms, especially for vulnerable groups including refugees and migrants. In 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Ms Albanese as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

Ms Albanese has published widely on the legal situation in Israel/Palestine. Her latest book, Palestinian Refugees in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2020), offers a comprehensive legal analysis of the situation of Palestinian refugees from its origins to modern-day reality. 

She is an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, and a Senior Advisor on Migration and Forced Displacement for the think tank Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, where she co-founded the Global Network on the Question of Palestine, a coalition of renowned professional and scholars engaged in work on Israel/Palestine.

Ms Albanese regularly teaches and lectures on International Law and Forced Displacement in European and Arab universities and speaks frequently at conferences and public events on the legal situation of Palestine. Prior to becoming a full-time researcher, Francesca worked 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; United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 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 Middle East North Africa (MENA) region 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.

Ms Albanese holds a Law Degree (Honours) from the University of Pisa and an LLM in Human Rights from the University of London, SOAS. She is currently completing her PhD in International Refugee Law at Amsterdam University Law Faculty.

Ms Albanese is in Australia as the guest of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association to deliver the Edward Said Memorial Lecture.

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