Bangladesh has not been a party to any legally binding international instrument dealing with the protection of refugees. Its domestic law also does not provide for granting asylum or refugee status, nor has the government established a formal system for providing protection to refugees. In fact, the domestic legal framework concerning refugees is devoid of any consistent or organised development. In the absence of a national asylum mechanism, the 1946 Foreigners Act remains the key legislation governing the status of refugees and other persons under UNHCR’s mandate. Notwithstanding the fact that the Bangladesh Constitution guarantees certain fundamental human rights even to foreigners, the Foreigners Act refuses even to acknowledge refugees as a special class of vulnerable people deserving protection. However, Bangladesh has ratified the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, without any reservation/declaration on its provision on non-refoulement.
M Sanjeeb Hossain / May 2022
Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) has been hosting the Rohingya people fleeing from persecution in their homeland Myanmar (formerly Burma) for decades. While records of the Rohingya crossing the River Naf to enter East Pakistan date back to the 1950s, the most recent and arguably, the most significant instance of the Rohingya fleeing in large numbers and taking refuge in Bangladesh took place in 2017. At the time of writing this Interim Report, over one million Rohingya live within and beyond 34 refugee camps in the south-eastern region of Bangladesh. In three parts, this Report explores three areas, namely, the status of the Rohingya, their vulnerabilities, and their right to work in Bangladesh. The following paragraphs of this Executive Summary identify key findings.
Prof. Natália Medina Araújo / January 2021
Brazil is a party to the main international instruments regarding refugee protection. At the global level, it has ratified the 1951 UN Convention and its 1967 Protocol. At the regional level, it has signed every instrument of the Latin American regional network, with non-binding character, such as the Cartagena Declaration of 1984, the San José Declaration of 1994, the Mexico Declaration of 2004 and the Brasilia Declaration of 2014. Conversely, Brazil has not ratified the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. Domestic law dealing with the protection of refugees became a reality in 1997 (Lei 9474/1997), and it entails a comprehensive framework of refugee protection (Brasil 1997).
Prof. Natália Medina Araújo & Patrícia Ramos Barros/ May 2022
In Brazil, the recognition of refugees occurs in accordance with Law 9474/97. This law implements the 1951 Refugee Statute, as well as an expanded definition based on the Declaration of Cartagena, which was recently applied to grant prima facie recognition to nationals of Venezuela.
The fieldwork demonstrates that actors dealing with refuge in Brazil consider the RSD process impartial and the main reason given is the plurality of actors encompassed in the tripartite composition of CONARE, as well as the presence of some invited members with voice, which would favor technical discussion and the exposure of multiple points of view and would reduce political biases in decision making.
Prof. Audrey Macklin; Mr. Joshua Blum / January 2021
Canada implements its Refugee Convention obligations through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the accompanying Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). The IRPA and its regulations govern resettlement and asylum. Resettlement addresses overseas selection of refugees, and is oriented toward facilitating the movement of those chosen in advance. Laws concerning asylum address the entry and status determination of refugee claimants who arrive on their own initiative.
Roberto Cortinovis; Andrew Fallone / January 2021
The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) recognises complementary pathways for admission to third countries as an additional ‘solution’ to resettlement and as an expression of solidarity towards countries and communities hosting large numbers of refugees. The 2019 UNHCR ‘Three-Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways’ calls for a sustainable and predictable growth in complementary pathways, with the goal of expanding access to those channels up to two million people by the end of 2028, a target that is double the one million resettlement places aimed for during the same period.
Dr. Gerasimos Tsourapas; Dr. Simon Verduijn / October 2020
Jordan constitutes one of the key migrant host states in the Middle East. In terms of the country’s foreign populations overall, Jordan’s latest population census (2015) reported 2,918,125 foreign nationals (31%) in a total population of 9,531,712. Currently Jordan has the highest Palestinian refugee to citizen ratio in the world (Mencütek 2018, 189). Following the 1948 Arab – Israeli War Jordan hosted the largest number of Palestinian refugees, who fell under the responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The state responded by granting citizenship to those Palestinians who wished to become Jordanian citizens in 1950 – as well as their descendants, who would automatically be granted citizenship according to the Family Book of Jordanian Law – but not to those seeking refuge in the country after 1950.
Lewis Turner / May 2022
Jordan is a key country in the international refugee system, hosting the second highest number of refugees per capita in the world. Jordan’s population of approximately 10 million includes more than 2 million registered Palestinian refugees, and over 750,000 registered persons of concern to UNHCR.
The vast majority of registered persons of concern to UNHCR are Syrians (at approximately 650,000), with a substantial Iraqi population, and notable populations of Sudanese and Yemeni protection seekers. In total, Jordan hosts registered people of concern to UNHCR of 57 nationalities, although those who are not Iraqi, Sudanese, Syrian or Yemeni make up around 0.3% of the total – approximately 2,200 people (UNHCR, 2020).
This report focuses on those populations that are potentially of concern to UNHCR, and is based on desk-based work and interviews with a range of humanitarian, NGO and civil society actors in Jordan. It explores the interrelated questions of status, vulnerability and working rights for those seeking international protection in Jordan.
Bachirou Ayouba Tinni , Abdoulaye Hamadou , Thomas Spijkerboer / August 2022
This report analyses the political, legal and financial instruments through which the EU and Niger cooperated in the field of asylum between 2015 and 2021. The analysis is based on a document review, a literature review and 19 interviews with actors involved in asylum in Niger (Annex 1). This analysis focuses on the main instruments: the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), established during the Valletta Summit in October 2015 at the height of the refugee crisis (the EUTF finances the ETM and the provision of asylum in Agadez), and Law 2015-36 implementing the Palermo Protocol on migrant smuggling. The instruments are analysed in six points.
Olga Djurovic, Rados Djurovic, Thomas Spijkerboer / August 2022
The EU’s role in managing migration and asylum in Serbia has been increasingly gaining in significance since 2015, linked with increasing EU funding (in particular Pre-Accession funding and the Madad Fund) to Serbia. Thus, the EU is becoming the dominant initiator of developments in the field of Serbian migration, asylum, and border management policies, and directly influences the commitment of state institutions thereto. With the Western Balkan Statement of 2015, the EU’s policies toward the Western Balkans and Serbia became formalized for the first time in one political instrument.
South Africa hosts the third-largest asylum and refugee population in southern Africa after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the United Republic of Tanzania (UNHCR Global Trends 2019). The Department of Home Affairs, (National Assembly 2019; Department of Home Affairs 2017) records 186 210 documented asylum seekers and 88 694 documented refugees. However, the exact amount of asylum seekers within South Africa is unknown as scholars note that a large number of persons in need of protection are u ndocumented due to major gaps and barriers to the asylum system (Fatima and Lee 2018). The majority of documented asylum seekers are from Bangladesh, DRC, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe whereas documented refugees are from Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe (Department of Home Affairs 2017).
Ms Nandi Rayner / May 2022
In or around 2005, Zimbabwe began to experience political and economic crisis, which led to many Zimbabwean migrants and asylum seekers entering South Africa for protection. It is estimated that around 1.5 million Zimbabweans are living in South Africa, the majority of whom were and are living irregularly. South Africa responded to the migration and asylum seekers from Zimbabwe with draconian immigration restrictions which forced people into irregular migration channels.
It was only in 2010 that the South African government responded to the crisis with a dispensation program in terms of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 in an attempt to regularise the stay of Zimbabweans in South Africa. The 2010 statistics show that 242 731 Zimbabweans successfully applied for the dispensation and were provided with a permit that would allow them to work and study for four years in the country.
Fatma Raach, Hiba Sha’ath, Thomas Spijkerboer / August 2022
Before giving a more detailed overview of the findings, one overarching finding merits attention. The most significant factor undermining the protection of vulnerable populations in Tunisia is the absence of a national asylum law specifying the state’s legal obligations towards refugees and asylum seekers on its territory, and transferring responsibility for refugee status determination to the state. While the Asylum law has been drafted and reviewed by local and international legal experts for its alignment with the 2014 Tunisian constitution and international refugee law, it has been blocked by government due to several reasons.
Today, Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world, including more than 3.6 million Syrians and 330,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers of other nationalities (UNHCR Turkey Operational Update 2020). Turkey is a party to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention) and the 1967 Protocol but maintains a geographical limitation. With this limitation, Turkey is not obliged to grant refugee status to asylum seekers coming from outside Europe. Turkey is a party to the core human rights treaties such as: the Convention against Torture (CAT), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
As a political tool, the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) provides a framework for protection of persons in need of international protection and complementary pathways for UN member states, including the EU and Turkey. This framework includes instruments for responsibility-sharing such as resettlement and financial contributions. Through a multifactorial and relational approach, this report focuses on the ramifications of externalization policies of the EU and the instruments that facilitate keeping refugees in the Turkish asylum regime and instruments’ impacts on those who are in need of protection and how the EU defies GCR principles. Based on fifteen in-depth interviews that are conducted with representatives of civil society organizations, authorities and other stakeholders from local/regional, national and international levels during March-June 2021, it is aimed to explore the respondents’ opinions and experiences about the migration governance system in Turkey in line with WP4’s focus on refugee’s rights, status and vulnerabilities.
This report analyses the political, legal and financial instruments through which the EU and Turkey have cooperated in the field of migration and asylum between 2015 and 2021. The analysis is based on document analysis, a literature review and stakeholder interviews. The analysis focuses on the three main instruments: the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement, and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT). The instruments are analyzed on six points.