COUNTRY PAPERS

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Prof. Borhan Uddin KhanProf. Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman / October 2020

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.

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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).

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Prof. Audrey MacklinMr. 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).i 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.

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Dr. Gerasimos TsourapasDr. 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.

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Prof. Fatima KhanMs Nandi Rayner / October 2020

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).

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Dr Meltem Ineli-CigerMs Ozgenur Yigit / October 2020

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).