ASILE represents an advance in comparison to the current state of the art. It seeks to facilitate a ground-breaking understanding of the role and impacts of legal and policy responses – instruments and arrangements – on refugee protection and sharing of responsibility from the perspective of their effectiveness, fairness and consistency with international and regional legal and human rights and refugee law standards. It will do so through an interdisciplinary examination and mapping of UN GCR actors1 and key policy and legal instruments on mobility and containment, and the impacts of vulnerability and status recognition assessments over individuals in search of international protection. The ASILE project will generate an international academic-policy dialogue and a robust scientific understanding of current and future global and EU asylum governance approaches within the scope of the UN GCR.

The UN GCR calls for more equitable and effective arrangements for responsibility sharing. It states that it is to be grounded in international refugee protection and international human rights instruments. The UN GCR places protection as an overall guide of application. The ASILE project will take the GCR guiding principles as points of departure.

The basic research question is:

What are the characteristics and impacts of emerging international systems and EU asylum governance regimes, and what are their policy implications for EU’s role in the implementation of the UN GCR?


The first objective

of the project will be to advance the state-of-the-art by bringing about a new conceptual and ground-breaking understanding to refugee studies on the notions of containment and mobility, their intersections and their inclusionary and exclusionary effects from the perspective of international refugee protection. ASILE will facilitate a better understanding of the constitution of the asylum/refugee systems in various countries and regions across the world. By this, it seeks to know more about the kinds of actors that are involved in international protection and global asylum governance, the relationships between them and the flow of ideas, information and resources within networks. It will also contribute towards a better understanding of the notion of ‘vulnerability’ through an assessment of the impacts of refugee status determination (RSD) processes on individuals’ rights and agency.

The second objective

is to contribute with a ground-breaking understanding of current and future asylum governance regimes, and the characteristics and impacts of policy and legal instruments and arrangements, including those on responsibility sharing. It has been designed around two main thematic streams. First, we shall provide an international comparative examination of existing complementary or legal pathways of mobility and admission for protection of people in search of international protection, and their interactions with containment instruments, in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Jordan, South Africa and Turkey. Second, we will make an assessment of EU cooperation arrangements and EU-led support instruments for refugee protection in third countries, in particular those with Jordan, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Niger.

ASILE will evaluate these legal and policy responses in light of their effectiveness, fairness and consistency with international and regional legal human rights and refugee protection standards.

A third related objective

will be to facilitate new ways to bring the voices of refugees in the conceptualisation of emerging international protection systems by examining the impacts of existing mobility policy and legal instruments and arrangements on individuals. ASILE studies the relationship between refugee recognition and vulnerability assessment regimes characterizing asylum governance regimes and their effects on individuals’ self-reliance, human rights and work rights.


The fourth objective

of the project is related to drawing lessons learned for future global and EU policy responses. Based on the long-standing experience of the partners in similar actions, the project will implement a set of policy engagement activities securing effective linkages between the project research results and relevant policy processes, discourses and outputs in the scope of the UN GCR. In particular, the ASILE project operationalizes a set of think tank and policy engagement methods bridging the qualitative and quantitative findings to the development of future asylum policies. These will include regional Task Forces, Strategic Visioning and in loci Workshops aimed at identifying promising practices and exploring policy options with relevant stakeholders.


A fifth objective

will be to provide a novel inter-disciplinary and gender-balanced international academic network of outstanding scholars – including project partners and members of international advisory academic board. By design, the ASILE project assembles the collective expertise of a diverse range of all significant actors in this field.


The sixth objective

is sustainability, outreach and impact. ASILE is, already at birth, inherently a global project, with strong links to academia across all continents, think tank communities, the policy and international organizations and civil society. It will involve relevant actors to ensure mutual learning, identification of promising practices and take-up of research findings. The project will set the foundations for the future development of a Global Academic Association on Refugee Studies and the UN GCR.


Asile Project Concept