Journal Articles

Differential Treatment and Temporary Protection Arrangements: Discrimination or Legitimate Distinctions?

This article analyses the differential treatment among refugees inherent to temporary protection arrangements. What was particularly remarkable in the EU’s response to displacement from Ukraine, for instance, was the free access for Ukrainians to EU territory and even free choice to seek protection in any Member State. Thus, the persons under this arrangement are better off initially, and this may seem preferable to the deterrence measures taken in response to other cases of ‘mass influx’ which restricted, rather than facilitated, access to protection. As it may in the longer term be better for some refugees to undergo the ordinary asylum procedure and eventually receive refugee or subsidiary protection status, temporary protection raises complex questions of differential treatment. At the same time, within the ordinary asylum procedure some EU Member States have introduced distinctions resulting in differential treatment of certain refugee categories whose need for protection is perceived to be temporary. This article positions the implementation of the various temporary protection arrangements within the general norms of non-discrimination by analysing key aspects of differential treatment and attempting to identify the boundary between lawful and unlawful distinctions.

Who Is a Refugee in Jordan? Hierarchies and Exclusions in the Refugee Recognition Regime

TURNER, Lewis / November 2023

This article dissects the refugee recognition regime in Jordan. It argues that refugee recognition, despite being conducted by UNHCR, is a heavily politicized process shaped by intersecting racial and national hierarchies, restrictive government regulations, and UNHCR policies. Despite Jordan hosting the ‘second highest share of refugees per capita in the world’, relatively few protection seekers gain refugee status, and when they do, it is almost always as part of the resettlement process. Many remain asylum seekers for years or decades, while others cannot even register their claim for international protection with UNHCR. This article contributes to refugee studies by demonstrating how UNHCR policies are changing RSD in non-signatory states, the importance of asylum/refugee registration, how state and humanitarian policies lead to some protection seekers being missed in academic analyses, and highlighting the ever-growing gap between the legal and ‘everyday’ uses of the term ‘refugee’.

Group-Based Protection of Afghan Women and Girls under the 1951 Refugee Convention

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 deprived women and girls of their fundamental rights. The Taliban denied or severely restricted women and girls’ rights to education, work, healthcare, freedom of movement, opinion and expression, and to protection from gender-based violence. This article argues that the Taliban’s treatment of Afghan women and girls amounts to persecution, and all Afghan women and girls should be recognised as refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention. The article further examines the feasibility of prima facie recognition for Afghan women and girls.

‘Doing’ Legal History in Refugee Law: A Snapshot of Bangladesh’s Engagement with Non-Refoulement

 / June 2023

This article advocates for the adoption of legal history in the study of refugee law and associated legal scholarship. It begins by illustrating the meaning and value of legal history by sifting through the texts introducing the inaugural issues of some of the world’s most reputed legal history journals. It asks what makes a good legal historian and highlights the impossibility of attaining total objectivity when producing historical work. The article then sheds light on archival research and oral history as essential tools for doing legal history but cautions against being swayed by arrogant claims that the application of such empiricist and contextualist methods produces impartial legal history. Finally, the article demonstrates the value of doing legal history in refugee law by offering a snapshot of Bangladesh’s engagement with non-refoulement in the late 1970s when mass displacements of the Rohingya people from Myanmar and Indian Muslims from India took place.

Is Resettlement Still a Durable Solution? An Analysis in Light of the Proposal for a Regulation Establishing a Union Resettlement Framework

INELI CIGER, Meltem, / March 2022

Resettlement is generally regarded as a permanent or durable solution for refugees. Resettled refugees classically are granted permanent settlement with the opportunity for eventual citizenship. However, this classic understanding might be changing. In 2016, the European Commission proposed a Regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework with a view to creating a more structured, harmonized, and permanent framework for resettlement across the Union. According to the Proposal, resettled persons are to be granted either the refugee status or the subsidiary protection status in the Member States. Similar to the Proposal, more and more states including Denmark and the United States grant resettled refugees and other displaced persons statuses that fall short of the refugee status. In light of these recent developments, this article questions whether resettlement is still a permanent and durable solution for refugees. In doing so, the article also examines duties owed by states towards resettled refugees and other forcibly displaced persons in international law and reviews shortcomings of the Commission Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework.

Making sense of the global: A systematic review of globalizing and localizing dynamics in refugee governance

BRUMAT, Leiza; GEDDES, Andrew; PETTRACHIN, Andrea / September 2021

What does the research literature on refugee and asylum migration tell us about the impact of global norms and standards on the protection of asylum-seekers and refugees? Do we see the effective reach of global standards or do we see responses to be dependent on ‘local’ contexts? We conducted a systematic review of the literature across six case countries on two key issues in contemporary refugee governance: ‘mobility’ and ‘containment’. After coding 252 documents, we found that while ‘the global’ has an important normative and aspirational resonance and is an identified source of rights expansion and increased mobility, there is significant evidence for the ‘localisation’ of global standards on asylum and refugee protection. This has important implications for the diffusion of global norms and standards. Our results also reveal a strong focus in the research literature on ‘containment’ policies and on the role of state actors in developing these policies.


EU responses to the large-scale refugee displacement from Ukraine:

An analysis on the temporary protection directive and its implications for the future EU asylum policy

CARRERA, Sergio; INELI CIGER, Meltem / February 2023

This Book examines the European Union’s policy responses to large-scale dis- placement of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and the activation and imple- mentation of the Temporary Protection Directive from interdisciplinary per- spectives. The activation of the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive for the first time in European history to receive nearly 5 million people fleeing the war Ukraine begs the following question: Does it represent a new era or a turn- ing-point in EU asylum policy? The various chapter contributions assess this question by first analysing central issues related to the scope, implementation and debates raised by the Temporary Protection Directive. 

The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees

International Experiences on Containment and Mobility and their Impacts on Trust and Rights

CARRERA, SergioGEDDES, Andrew / March 2021

In September 2020, the European Commission published what it described as a New Pact on Migration and Asylum (emphasis added) that lays down a multi-annual policy agenda on issues that have been central to debate about the future of European integration. This book examines the new Pact as part of a Forum organized by the Horizon 2020 project ASILE – Global Asylum Governance and the EU’s Role.

In light of the ASILE project objectives, the chapters of the book pay particular attention to the scope of the mobility and containment components of asylum governance instruments and their implementing actors in Europe and other world regions, as well as their inclusionary or exclusionary effects on individuals’ rights and international protection.