Asylum lies at the heart of the international refugee protection regime. Yet, today, most states in the developed world implement a range of deterrence measures designed to prevent access to asylum on their territories. With particular attention to Europe’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, this paper categorizes contemporary deterrence policies. It then questions the sustainability and effectiveness of such policies. A number of deterrence measures do not conform with refugee and human rights law, rendering the refugee protection regime vulnerable to collapse. Finally, this article suggests some ways forward to address these problems. It discusses the partial success of legal challenges to deterrence measures and opportunities for alternative avenues to access protection. Ultimately, however, it argues that the viability of the refugee protection regime requires collective action and international burden-sharing.
Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Research Director at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and adjunct Professor of Law at Aarhus University, discusses his paper, “The End of the Deterrence Paradigm? Future Directions for Global Refugee Policy.” The paper...
On March 7, 2016, the European Union (EU) and Turkey drew up an agreement for cooperation with the aim of reducing the flow of migrants and refugees — mostly Syrian — crossing the Aegean Sea and taking the Balkan route to arrive in Europe. This essay discusses how the EU-Turkey agreement violates the body of rights and obligations that apply to all EU member states and the international conventions regarding asylum.
This essay addresses the issue of how best to insert migration concerns into development planning, as a part of a process of thinking more broadly about US migration policies and interests.
Father David Hollenbach, Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University''s School of Foreign Service and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, discusses his paper, "Borders and Duties to the Displaced: Ethical Perspectives on the Refugee Protection System."
This essay proposes some ethical perspectives that can help in the task of reassessing the structure of the global refugee protection system in light of the extraordinarily high levels of refugee movement and forced migration occurring today.
This article discusses the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity in the context of refugee repatriation. It begins by setting out the applicable legal framework, and discusses how that framework has been elaborated upon and refined since 1951. The article then discusses how the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity have, in practice, been applied (or, in a few unfortunate cases, ignored). After noting that we are now living in an era of protracted refugee emergencies, the article concludes with a number of recommendations regarding alternatives to repatriation and the conditions under which repatriation can take place without offense to the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity.
A few days before the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is releasing a new in-depth report examining refugee protection and national security. The paper, titled “How Robust Refugee...
This paper makes the case that refugee protection and national security should be viewed as complementary, not conflicting state goals. It argues that refugee protection can further the security of refugees, affected states, and the international community. Refugees and international migrants can also advance national security by contributing to a state’s economic vitality, military strength, diplomatic standing, and civic values. The paper identifies several strategies that would, if implemented, promote both security and refugee protection. It also outlines additional steps that the US Congress should take to enhance US refugee protection policies and security. Finally, it argues for the efficacy of political engagement in support of pro-protection, pro-security policies, and against the assumption that political populism will invariably impede support for refugee protection.
This article argues for new frameworks to more effectively address the situation of the totality of displaced persons, citing two recent efforts — the Nansen Initiative and Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative — as examples of practical ways to move forward.