Refugees

Introduction

Refugees - Research Guide International Law

The United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol defines a refugee as someone who, ‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country’. The definition of a refugee was expanded by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country. It is important to note that article 33 of the Convention provides for the principle of non-refoulement which means that no contracting state shall expel or return (refouler) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to territories where his or her life or freedom would be threatened. Those who seek refugee status are referred to as “asylum seekers”; the conditions under which a person is granted refugee status is left to the discretion of States. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) for Refugees is the principal UN organ that protects and supports refugees. Over time, UNHCR’s mandate has been expanded to cover other persons of concern, including some internally displaced persons.  The UNHCR assists refugees in their resettlement or return and finds other solutions to their plight. On an international level, debates continue regarding the nature of the protection that refugees should be granted, the obligations of receiving countries and the role of the international community towards refugees.

Recent Publications on Refugees:

see also

 

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Refugees. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. See the Librarians Choice for the latest important publications on refugees and internally displaced persons. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code (systematic code) 160c. Other Administrative, Social and Humanitarian Questions (Refugees, etc.) and subject headings (keywords) Refugees or Displaced Persons are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Other systematic codes which may be helpful are 53a6a. (European Union immigration issues),  100 (Emigration and immigration in general), 101. (Emigration and immigration in the various states), 103. (Expulsion) and 253. (Asylum). Other keywords which may be helpful: Emigration and Immigration, Asylum, Right of Asylum, Convention relating to the Status of RefugeesUNHCR, and Non-Refoulement. Special attention in the Research Guide is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Bibliography

Reference works

 Recent books/papers

Recent articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

See also: Revue européenne des migrations internationales, special issue Mineurs en migration : enjeux juridiques, politiques et sociaux, 30 (2014), No. 1. (restricted)

Bibliography

 

New titles


1. Das Ausländerrecht zwischen obrigkeitsstaatlicher Tradition und menschenrechtlicher Herausforderung
Das Ausländerrecht zwischen obrigkeitsstaatlicher Tradition und menschenrechtlicher Herausforderung / Thomas Gross In: Archiv des Offentlichen Rechts = ISSN 0003-8911: vol. 139, issue 3, page 420-445. - 2014
Keywords: Germany, Aliens, Right of residence, Foreign workers, Immigration law, Human rights,

2. The Shalabayeva Case: Issues of International and EU Law
The Shalabayeva Case: Issues of International and EU Law / Marco Gestri In: The Italian Yearbook of International Law = ISSN 0391-5107: vol. 23 (2013), page 245-267. - 2013
Keywords: Italy, Kazakhstan, European Union, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome, 4 November 1950), Immigration, Refugees, Asylum, Expulsion,

3. An introduction to international refugee law
An introduction to international refugee law / ed. by Rafiqul Islam and Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan. - Leiden : Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013. - pages Includes index. - 2013
Keywords: Refugees, Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva, 28 July 1951), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Human rights, Asylum, Environmental refugees, International co-operation, Legal status, E-books,

4. Empowering the UNHCR to Provide More Consistent Protection for Refugees
Empowering the UNHCR to Provide More Consistent Protection for Refugees / by Carly Sessions In: The George Washington International Law Review = ISSN 1534-9977: vol. 46, page 91-113. - 2014
Keywords: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Refugees, Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva, 28 July 1951), Non-refoulement, Immigration law,

Librarian's choice

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  • Cherubini, F., Asylum Law in the European Union, London ; New York : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015

    Cherubini, F., Asylum Law in the European Union, London ; New York Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015

    This book examines the rules governing the right to asylum in the European Union. Drawing on the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and the 1967 Protocol, Francesco Cherubini asks how asylum obligations under international refugee law have been incorporated into the European Union. The book draws from international law, EU law and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and focuses on the prohibition of refoulement; the main obligation the EU law must confront. Cherubini explores the dual nature of this principle, examining both the obligation to provide a fair procedure that determines the conditions of risk in the country of origin or destination, and the obligation to respond to a possible expulsion. Through this study the book sheds light on EU competence in asylum when regarding the different positions of Member States. The book will be of great use and interest to researchers and students of asylum and immigration law, EU law, and public international law.

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  • Gallagher, A.T., and F. David, The international Law of Migrant Smuggling, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Gallagher, A.T., and F. David, The international Law of Migrant Smuggling, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Whether forced into relocation by fear of persecution, civil war, or humanitarian crisis, or pulled toward the prospect of better economic opportunities, more people are on the move than ever before. Opportunities for lawful entry into preferred destinations are decreasing rapidly, creating demand for a range of services that is increasingly being met by migrant smugglers: individuals or criminal groups who facilitate unauthorized entry into in another country for profit.  This companion volume to the award-winning The International Law of Human Trafficking, presents the first-ever comprehensive and in-depth analysis into the subject. The authors call on their direct experience of working with the United Nations to chart the development of new international laws and to link these specialist rules to other relevant areas of international law, including law of the sea, human rights law, and international refugee law. Through this analysis, the authors explain the major legal obligations of states with respect to migrant smuggling, including those related to criminalization, interdiction and rescue at sea, protection, prevention, detention, and return.

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  • Chetail, V. and C. laly-Chevalier (eds.), Asile et extradition: Théorie et pratique de l'exclusion du statut de réfugié, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2014.

    Asile et extradition, théorie et pratique de l'exclusion du statut de réfugié  sous la direction de Vincent Chetail et Caroline Laly-Chevalier

    La présente étude a pour objet d’analyser les relations denses et complexes entre l’extradition et l’exclusion du statut de réfugié. Chacun de ces domaines spécifiques du droit a longtemps évolué de façon autonome sans égard aux nombreuses interactions qui les unissent. La recherche met en lumière les potentiels et les limites de leur articulation sur la base d’une méthodologie délibérément large, incluant autant des questions de droit international que de droit interne, doublée d’une approche comparative des législations et pratiques nationales les plus représentatives. L’objectif ultime est de dessiner un cadre juridique qui permette de concilier les obligations parfois contradictoires dérivant du droit de l’extradition et du droit des réfugiés.

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  • Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (et al.) (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014. Showcase item

    Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (et al.) (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Refugee and Forced Migration Studies has grown from being a concern of a relatively small number of scholars and policy researchers in the 1980s to a global field of interest with thousands of students worldwide studying displacement either from traditional disciplinary perspectives or as a core component of newer programmes across the Humanities and Social and Political Sciences. Today the field encompasses both rigorous academic research which may or may not ultimately inform policy and practice, as well as action-research focused on advocating in favour of refugees’ needs and rights. This authoritative Handbook critically evaluates the birth and development of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and analyses the key contemporary and future challenges faced by academics and practitioners working with and for forcibly displaced populations around the world. The 52 state-of-the-art chapters, written by leading academics, practitioners, and policymakers working in universities, research centres, think tanks, NGOs and international organizations, provide a comprehensive and cutting-edge overview of the key intellectual, political, social and institutional challenges arising from mass displacement in the world today. The chapters vividly illustrate the vibrant and engaging debates that characterize this rapidly expanding field of research and practice.

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  • Kneebone, S. D. Stevens and L. Baldassar (eds.), Refugee Protection and the Role of Law: Conflicting Identities, London, Routledge, 2014. Showcase item

    Kneebone, S. D. Stevens and L. Baldassar (eds.), Refugee Protection and the Role of Law: Conflicting Identities, London, Routledge, 2014.

    Sixty years on from the signing of the Refugee Convention, forced migration and refugee movements continue to raise global concerns for hosting states and regions, for countries of origin, for humanitarian organisations on the ground, and, of course, for the refugee. This edited volume is framed around two themes which go to the core of contemporary ‘refugeehood’: protection and identity. It analyses how the issue of refugee identity is shaped by and responds to the legal regime of refugee protection in contemporary times. The book investigates the premise that there is a narrowing of protection space in many countries and many highly visible incidents of refoulement. It argues that ‘Protection’, which is a core focus of the Refugee Convention, appears to be under threat, as there are many gaps and inconsistencies in practice. Contributors to the volume, who include Erika Feller, Elspeth Guild, Hélène Lambert and Roger Zetter, look at the relevant issues from the perspective of a number of different disciplines including law, politics, sociology, and anthropology. The chapters examine the link between identity and protection as a basis for understanding how the Refugee Convention has been and is being applied in policy and practice. The situation in a number of jurisdictions and regions in Europe, North America, South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East is explored in order to ask the question does jurisprudence under the Refugee Convention need better coordination and how successful is oversight of the Convention?

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  • Smyth, C.M., European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child, London, Routledge, 2014. Showcase item

    Smyth, C.M., European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child, London, Routledge, 2014.

    The child asylum seeker poses unique challenges for reception and refugee status determination systems, not least because the child is entitled to have his or her rights as a child respected as a matter of international and regional human rights law. In the last decade the European Union has increasingly engaged with children’s rights, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, and a new Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union that commits the Union to promoting the ‘protection of the rights of the child.’ This book addresses the question of whether the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) complies with the rights of the child. It contrasts the normative standards of international child rights law with the treatment of child asylum seekers and refugees in the CEAS. Ciara Smyth identifies the attributes of the rights of the child that are most relevant to the asylum context and systematically examines whether and to what extent those attributes are reflected in the CEAS legislation. The book goes on to assess whether the CEAS instruments direct Member States to comply with the rights of the child, offering a comprehensive examination of the place of the child within European asylum law and policy. The book will be of great use and interest to scholars and students of international law, immigration and children’s rights studies.

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  • O'Nions, H., Asylum: A Right Denied, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014. Showcase item

    O'Nions, H., Asylum: A Right Denied, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014.

    In recent decades, asylum has emerged as a highly politicized European issue. The term ‘asylum seeker’ has suffered a negative perception and has been associated with notions of illegality and criminality in mainstream media. These misconceptions have been supported by politicians as a distraction from economic and political uncertainties with the result that asylum seekers have been deprived of significant rights. This book examines the effect of recent attempts of harmonization on the identification and protection of refugees. It considers the extent of obligations on the state to admit and protect refugees and examines the 1951 Refugee Convention. The motivations of European legislators and legislation concerning asylum procedures and reception conditions are also analysed. Proposals and initiatives for refugee movements and determinations are examined and assessed. The author makes suggestions for better protection of refugees while responding to the security concerns of States, and questions whether European law and policy is doing enough to uphold the fundamental right to seek and enjoy asylum as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This book takes a bold look at a controversial issue and generates discussion for those involved in the fields of  human rights, migrational and transnational studies, law and society and international law.

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Database

Max Planck Encyclopedia: a comprehensive analytical resource containing articles on the subject of refugees:

Blogs

  • Borders Beyond Control?

    In my previous blogpost “Feigning Immigration Control”, I argued that politicians are often busy with feigning immigration control while in reality they often can or want to do little about it. What do we actually know about the effects of immigration policies? In order to answer this question, I have conducted a research project on the ‘Determinants of International Migration’ (DEMIG) at the International Migration Institute at Oxford University. One of the main insights of the project is that while immigration restrictions often reduce immigration, these effects tend to be rather small. In addition, restrictions often have a four potential side-effects (‘substitution effects’) which further undermine their effectiveness or can even make them counter-productive.

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  • Border Controls and Human Rights: Migration in the Central Mediterranean

    The Central Mediterranean has, in the last years, turned into the epicentre of human (migrant) disasters. The Central Mediterranean route refers to the migratory flow coming from Northern Africa towards Italy and Malta through the Mediterranean Sea. Here, Libya often acts as nexus point where migrants from the Horn of Africa and Western African routes meet before embarking on their journey towards the EU.

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  • First Global Forum on Statelessness - "New Directions in Statelessness Research and Policy"

    From 15 to 17 September 2014, 3 institutions (the UNHCR, the agency mandated by the General Assembly to help states to address statelessness, and the Statelessness Programme of Tilburg University) co-hosted the first held Global Forum on Statelessness. The three-day event took place in the Academy building of the Peace Palace of The Hague, the Netherlands.

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  • International Refugee Law blog series I: Exclusion of Refugee Status: The Criminal Refugee

    In the western world it is possible you live next to a war criminal, or your child might be playing with the daughter of a war criminal at school. It is also possible to live there without a real prospect of obtaining a form of legal status and without being held criminally responsible for the alleged crime. Who are these people living in legal limbo? why are they still here? The exclusion of refugee status (1F Refugee Convention) and its consequences will be dealt with in this blog.

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International organisations

Europe

Research and academia

Blogs and commentary on immigration law and immigration issues

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Multimedia:

 Statistics:

Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union 2013

UNHCR Asylum Trends 2013

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