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.

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

Leading articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

See also: Criticial Reflections on Refugee Law, Special Issue International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, 20 (2013).

Bibliography

 

New titles


1. Czy społeczeństwo multikulturowe jest możliwe?
Czy społeczeństwo multikulturowe jest możliwe? : polityka imigracyjna i integracja socjalna mniejszości napływowych / Krystyna Wójcik-Radkowska In: Studia prawno-ekonomiczne = ISSN 0081-6841: vol. 88, page 189-207. - 2013
Keywords: Immigration, Minorities, Multicultural society, Integration,

2. Refugees, Humanitarian Aid, and the Displacement Impasse in Sahrawi Camps
Refugees, Humanitarian Aid, and the Displacement Impasse in Sahrawi Camps / Aomar Boum. - Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield. - Page 261-275 In: Perspectives on Western Sahara : Myths, Nationalisms, and Geopolitics / edited by Anouar Boukhars and Jacques Roussellier, ISBN 9781442226852: (2014), Page 261-275. - 2014
Keywords: Morocco, Western Sahara, International status, Territorial sovereignty, Geopolitics, Right of self-determination, Conflicts, Refugees, Humanitarian assistance,

3. To Group or Not to Group; Refugee Status for Central American Victims of Gang Violence (Comment)
To Group or Not to Group; Refugee Status for Central American Victims of Gang Violence (Comment) / Isabel Bonilla-Mathe In: Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law = ISSN 1069-4455: vol. 22, issue 1, page 145-166. - 2013
Keywords: Central America, United States of America, Violence, Organized crime, Asylum, Refugees, Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva, 28 July 1951), International law and domestic law,

Librarian's choice

These publications are selected for you by .

  • Martin, D.A. (ed.), Forced Migration Law and Policy, St. Paul, West, 2013.

    Martin, D.A. (et al.), Forced Migration Law and Policy, St. Paul, West, 2013

    Forced Migration: Law and Policy, 2nd edition, addresses the legal framework and policy issues raised by asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons, and other forced migrants. It includes new materials on detention policies, expedited procedures, firm resettlement, fact-finding in the asylum process, gender-related persecution, maritime interdiction, particular social group, terrorism bars, the Convention Against Torture, and many other topics. The principal focus of this casebook is U.S. law and policy, but it also includes a wealth of comparative materials from many countries and regional organizations.

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  • Belorgey, J.-M., Le Droit d'Asile, Paris, LGDJ-Lextenso, 2013. Showcase item

    Belorgey, J.-M., Le Droit d'Asile, Paris, LGDJ-Lextenso, 2013.
    La prolifération des règles et la complexité des procédures gouvernant l accès des demandeurs d asile à une protection rendent aujourd hui cette matière difficile à appréhender. La crainte d un afflux massif de demandes, d un contournement aussi par cette voie des efforts de maîtrise des autres mouvements migratoires contribue en outre à obscurcir le débat public. Cet ouvrage retrace l émergence du droit international de l asile, analyse les stratégies de plusieurs pays européens, ainsi que celles de l Union européenne en vue de la mise en oeuvre d un « droit commun de l asile ». Il décrit ensuite le parcours que doit suivre un demandeur d asile, et les droits qui s attachent à la reconnaissance de la qualité de réfugié. Il s attache enfin à analyser les conditions dans lesquelles sont évalués les mérites des demandes d asile, ce qui est, on l omet souvent, une question de qualification juridique des faits, puisqu elle gouverne la reconnaissance d un droit, mais une question à laquelle les dimensions psychologiques, anthropologiques, géopolitiques, linguistiques de l exercice conduit prêtent des contours inédits. C est une des premières tentatives de cet ordre.
     
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  • Islam, R. and J.H. Bhuiyan (eds.), An Introduction to International Refugee Law, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    Islam, R. and J.H. Bhuiyan (eds.), An Introduction to International Refugee Law, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    The book is designed to provide an overview of the development, meaning, and nature of international refugee law. The jurisprudence on the status of refugees, loss and denial of the refugees status, non-refoulement, asylum, problems and challenges of refugee protection, the law of return and the right of return, critical refugees and immigration law, and the role of international organizations in protection of refugees are revisited in the context of contemporary realities. The relationship between armed conflict, climate change, and human right violations induced refugees and the existing international refugee regime emerging will be succinctly highlighted and analysed in the book. This lucidly written and timely book will be immensely helpful to anyone grappling with the demonstrated inadequacies of international refugee law in real life situations today and desirous of the reorientation of its meaning and scope to cater for the changing needs and shared expectation of the international community in the 21st century.

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  • Juss, S.S. and C. Harvey (eds.), Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2013.

    contemporary-issues-in-refugee-law

    Refugee law is going through momentous times, as dictatorships tumble, revolutions simmer and the ‘Arab Awakening’ gives way to the spread of terror from Syria to the Sahel in Africa. This compilation of topical chapters, by some of the leading scholars in the field, covers major themes of rights, security, the UNHCR, international humanitarianism and state interests and sets out to map new contours.

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  • Simeon, J.C. (ed.), The UNHCR and the Supervision of International Refugee Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Simeon, J.C. (ed.), The UNHCR and the Supervision of International Refugee Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and its 1967 Protocol, and many other important international instruments recognize the unique role the UNHCR plays in protecting refugees and supervising international refugee law. This in-depth analysis of the UNHCR’s supervisory role in the international refugee protection regime examines the part played by key institutions, organizations and actors in the supervision of international refugee law. It provides suggestions and recommendations on how the UNHCR’s supervisory role can be strengthened to ensure greater State Parties’ compliance to their obligations under these international refugee rights treaties, and contributes to enhancing the international protection of refugees and to the promotion of a democratic global governance of the international refugee protection regime.

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  • Lambert, H. (et al.) (eds.), The Global Reach of European Refugee Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Lambert, H. (et al.) (eds.), The Global Reach of European Refugee Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Europe has the most advanced regional protection regime in the world. The predicted impact of this body of norms, including the new Common European Asylum System, has been widely identified as one that will have a ‘ripple effect’ beyond the EU. However, very few studies have noted the fact that this regime has already influenced the law and practice of states around the world, for some time. The purpose of this book is to gather evidence that emulation is happening (if it is), to explore the extent and identify the processes through which it is happening, and to examine the implications of these findings. A review of seven case studies reveals all but one of these cases provides clear evidence of emulation at some point in time. The EU protection regime, which has been most influenced by the European Court of Human Rights, is ‘naturally’ evolving transnationally and spreading internationally.

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  • Singh Juss, S. (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Migration Law, Theory and Policy, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013.

    Singh Juss, S. (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Migration Law, Theory and Policy, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013.

    The Ashgate Research Companion to Migration Law, Theory and Policy complements the already successful Ashgate series Law & Migration, established in 2006 which now has a number of well-regarded monographs to its credit. The purpose of this Companion is to augment that Series, by taking stock of the current state of literature on migration law, theory and policy, and to sketch out the contours of its future long-term development, in what is now a vastly expanded research agenda. The Companion provides readers with a definitive and dependable state-of-art review of current research in each of the chosen areas that is all-embracing and all-inclusive of its subject-matter. The chapters focus on the regional and the sub-regional, as well as the national and the global. In so doing, they aim to give a snap-shot that is contextual, coherent, and comprehensive. The contributors are both world-renowned scholars and newer voices and include scholars, practitioners, former judges and researchers and policy-makers who are currently working for international organisations.

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  • Bradley, M., Refugee Repatriation: Justice, Responsibility and Redress, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Bradley, M., Refugee Repatriation Justice, Responsibility and Redress, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Voluntary repatriation is now the predominant solution to refugee crises, yet the responsibilities states of origin bear towards their repatriating citizens are under-examined. Through a combination of legal and moral analysis and case studies of the troubled repatriation movements to Guatemala, Bosnia and Mozambique, Megan Bradley develops and refines an original account of the minimum conditions of a ‘just return’ process. The goal of a just return process must be to recast a new relationship of rights and duties between the state and its returning citizens, and the conditions of just return match the core duties states should provide for all their citizens: equal, effective protection for security and basic human rights, including accountability for violations of these rights. This volume evaluates the ways in which different forms of redress such as restitution and compensation may help enable just returns, and traces the emergence and evolution of international norms on redress for refugees.

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  • Datta, A., Refugees and Borders in South Asia: the Great Exodus of 1971, London, Routledge, 2013.

    Datta, A., Refugees and Borders in South Asia: the Great Exodus of 1971, London, Routledge, 2013.

    The crisis in East Pakistan in 1971, which preceded the birth of Bangladesh, led to ten million refugees crossing the border into India. This book argues that this massive influx of refugees within a few short months changed ideas about citizenship and belonging in South Asia. The book looks at how the Indian state, while generously keeping its borders open to the refugees, made it clear that these refugees were different from those generated by Partition, and would not be allowed to settle permanently. It discusses how the state was breaking its ‘effective’ link between refugees and citizenship, and how at the same time a second ‘affective’ border was developing between those living in the border areas, especially in Assam and West Bengal. Moving beyond the refugee narratives created by Partition, this book argues that these ‘effective’ and ‘affective’ borders generated by the refugee crisis in 1971 form part of the longer historical trajectory of the current political debate regarding ‘illegal infiltration’ from Bangladesh . It goes on to analyse the aftermath of the 1971 war and the massive repatriation project undertaken by the governments of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to examine ways in which questions about minorities and belonging remained unresolved post-1971. The book is an interesting contribution to the history of refugees, border-making and 1971 in South Asia, as well as to studies in politics and international relations.

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  • Thakur, R.C., International Human Rights of Refugees: A Factual Analysis, New Delhi, Cyber Tech Publications, 2013.

    Thakur, R.C., International Human Rights of Refugees: A Factual Analysis, New Delhi, Cyber Tech Publications, 2013.

    Contents: Preface. 1. Understanding refugee. 2. United Nations High Commissioner for refugees. 3. Immigration detention. 4. Refugees in South Asia. 5. International refugee organization: constitutional and provisions. 6. Repatriation aid and temporary protection. 7. convention on the reduction of statelessness. 8. Protocol relating to status of refugees 1967. 9. Convention relating to the status of refugees. 10. Aliens migrants and refugees. Appendix. Bibliography. Index.

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  • Beyani, C., Protection of the Right to Seek and Obtain Asylum under African Human Rights System, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    Protection of the Right to Seek and Obtain Asylum under the African Human Rights System, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013

    The use of international human rights machinery to protect refugees has acquired an important dimension in recent years. This is true of both the United Nations treaty body system and the African, European and Inter-American regional systems of of human rights. The result is a dynamic international invigoration of traditional refugee law that, in contradistinction, tends to be applied at the level of national courts and tribunals. Yet the precise role of human rights in the protection of refugees is sometimes viewed with suspicion and uncertainty. This Commentary provides a valuable insight into the use of human rights in the protection of refugees through the prism of the African Human Rights System.

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Database

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

Blogs

  • 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

 Interactive

 

See also

More Research guides on Individuals and Groups

PPL keywords

Other suggestions

In the Spotlight:

Migreurop, a critical chronology of European Migration Policies through a time-framed comparison of the evolution of the legal framework, the public discourse and the facts.

Multimedia:

 Statistics:

The 2012 edition of UNHCR’s Statistical Yearbook has been published. Some of the main findings include:

- “By end-2012, 45.2 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, and/or human rights violations. Some 15.4 million people were refugees, 10.5 million under UNHCR’s mandate and 4.9 million Palestinian refugees registered by UNRWA.”

- “By the end of 2012, the total population of concern to UNHCR was estimated at 35.8 million people.” Broken down, this figure includes: “10.5 million refugees; 928,200 asylum-seekers; 526,000 refugees who had repatriated during 2012; 17.7 million IDPs protected or assisted by UNHCR; 1.5 million IDPs who had returned to their place of origin in 2012; 3.3 million stateless persons; & 1.3 million others of concern.”

- The top five receiving countries for asylum applications were South Africa, the US, Germany, France & Sweden.

- The top five countries of origin for asylum applications were DRC, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan & Eritrea.

- “Refugee status based on the 1951 Convention was granted in 30 per cent of decisions in 2012.”

- The top five refugee-hosting countries were Pakistan, Iran, Germany, Kenya and Syria.

- The top five refugee-producing countries were Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.

See also: UNHCR Asylum Trends 2013

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