Refugee and Migrant Rights Photo Competition 2017

A photograph can tell a thousand words. In this photo competition (organised jointly by the Human Rights Consortium and Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London as part of the Being Human Festival), we are inviting you to tell the stories of the people who have left their countries with a hope for a better future.  We are looking for photos exploring the situation of refugees, migrants and those seeking asylum. Images can be anything that depict the refugee and migrant experiences, past and present.

Submission Deadline: 5pm GMT, Thursday 25 October 2017.


  • The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over. However, please note that organising and judging staff, and their relations, cannot enter.
  • The focus of the competition is on students and activists with a special interest or passion for photography.
  • Both amateur and professional photographers with a strong story to tell on refugees, migration and asylum are encouraged to apply.


  • Special Prize: 50% MA Fee Waiver – Shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity to apply for a special scholarship to undertake an MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights or an MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. For the terms and conditions for the special prize, please refer to the Paragraph 7.1. of the Terms and Conditions below.
  • Exhibition first prize: £250 voucher for camera equipment.
  • Exhibition second prize: £150 voucher for photo printing.

    Five to ten runners-up will be selected whose photos will be exhibited during the opening event described below.

    The images submitted by the prize-winners and runners up will be exhibited during the opening event on 17th of November 2017 at Senate House in London as part of Being Human Festival. The winners will also be featured in online and print publications of the Human Rights Consortium and the Refugee Law Initiative publications.  The exhibition will also be hosted at a separate location by the international NGO Minority Rights Group International.

How to submit

To enter the competition, please send your entries in .jpeg format (1200X1600 pixels) which is the initial preview format, together with the submission form to


Please ensure that each jpeg file is labelled as “YourLastName_ImageTitle_2017”

Please also include a short caption written in English, and containing the following information:

  • Description of the individuals in the photograph and the scene;
  • Name of the city, region or the state and country where the photograph was taken;
  • The date of the photograph;
  • Other factual and contextual information relating to the composition;
  • Circumstances in which the photograph was taken which could include the photographers’ comments.

Terms and Conditions 

By entering into this competition, you are agreeing to the following Terms and Conditions:

In these Terms and Conditions, the “Organisers” refers to the University of London acting through its Human Rights Consortium (“HRC”) and Refugee Law Initiative (“RLI”) activities at the School of Advanced Study. The University of London is an exempt charity and statutory corporation, number RC000661, with headquarters at Malet Street, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU, England.

  1. Anyone aged 16 or over is eligible to enter the competition except for Organisers’ staff who are directly involved in organising and judging the competition, and their relations, who are not eligible to enter.
  2. The theme of the competition is that of the rights and the situation of refugees, migrants and those seeking asylum.
  3. Only three entries are allowed per person. The entry may consist of either a single photograph or a photo essay comprising three photographs.
  4. The closing date/time for entries is 5pm GMTThursday 25 October 2017.
  5. All entries must be the entrant’s own original work and must not have been previously published elsewhere or changed in any way or form. Entrants warrant and undertake that photos submitted will not infringe intellectual property, privacy or any other rights of any third party.
  6. Entrants must ensure that any person or persons whose image is used in an entry has given valid consent for the use of their image or has waived any rights they may have in the image submitted. Where such person is under 16, the consent of that person’s parent or guardian must be obtained. Failure to adequately demonstrate such consent may result in the entrant’s disqualification and forfeiture of any prize.
  7. There are three prizes: Special Prize(s) of a 50% MA fee waiver applicable to the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights or the MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London (hereafter the “SAS MA Programmes”), a £250 voucher for camera equipment, and a £150 voucher for photo printing. The three winners and three to five runners up will be featured in the online and print publications of the HRC and the RLI..
    1. Shortlisted applicants for the photo competition will have the opportunity to apply for the Special Prize of a 50% fee waiver scholarship for the SAS MA Programmes. They must demonstrate that they are able to meet the eligibility requirements for entry to the SAS MA Programmes, and the awarding of the fee waiver will be dependent on their acceptance to the programme of their choice. The winner of the Special Prize will be chosen on the merit of their photograph(s) submitted and of the information provided in their application form.
    2. There is no minimum number of Special Prizes to be awarded.
    3. The recipient of the Special Prize takes full responsibility for submitting their completed application, including any references, in line with all deadlines set by the School of Advanced Study, University of London.
    4. The exact value of the fee waiver will depend on the recipient’s chosen SAS MA Programme, their mode of study and their fee status. The assessment and setting of a student’s fee status is independent of the selection of the Special Prize recipient and of the processing of the MA application and is set in accordance with the relevant University of London policy.
  8. The entries will be judged by a jury comprising professional photographers and human rights experts. The winning entries will be those that, in the judges’ view, best capture the content and the spirit of the theme with a good composition and strong imagery. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  9. The entries submitted for the exhibition must meet the following specifications:
    1. They must be uploaded in .jpeg/.jpg format.
    2. They should be saved as a medium to high quality image.
    3. They should be at 1280 pixels on the longest side.
    4. The image colour profile must be in RGB (We recommend Adobe 1998) or Grayscale.
    5. All image layers must be flattened prior to submission.
    6. The files submitted must be saved as an 8-bit file.
  10. The winners will be contacted and will receive guidelines for the submission of the winning images, which will be exhibited in A3 format. The winning photographs will be printed by the Organisers. The winners’ names will be published on the Organiser’s Human Rights Consortium and Refugee Law Initiative websites once the competition results have been communicated to the winners.
  11. Copyright holders retain ownership of the copyright in their work. Copyright holders of the prize-winning photographs hereby grant the Organisers a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, licence for the use of their prize-winning photographs in high resolution for online and print publications and other media activities including social media in relation to this competition, this competition’s exhibition, competition-related materials and all promotional and educational activities of the Organisers.
  12. Under these Terms and Conditions, all rights relating the photographs other than those granted to the Organisers under paragraph 11 above are retained by the entrant.
  13. The Organisers accept no responsibility for entries lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete due to server functions or failures, virus, bugs, technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or any other causes outside Organisers’ control. If you have not received confirmation of receipt, please contact the Organisers at
  14. A prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for any other prize.
  15. The Organisers shall not be responsible for the return of entries.
  16. The Organisers reserve the right to use the names of winners and their photographs in relation to the promotion of the competition and related exhibitions in any printed or online publicity.
  17. The Organisers accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant as a result of entering the competition or accepting a prize, nor for any injury or damage to the entrant’s or any other person’s computer or mobile telephone relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the competition. Nothing shall exclude the Organisers’ liability for death or personal injury as a result of its negligence.
  18. Any personal data submitted by the entrant will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and the Organisers’ privacy policy.
  19. The competition and these Terms and Conditions are governed by English law, and you and the Organisers submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.