Human Rights and Displacement: Refugees and migrants

Mind Map by sophie_pollard, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by sophie_pollard over 6 years ago


Mind Map on Human Rights and Displacement: Refugees and migrants, created by sophie_pollard on 05/08/2015.

Resource summary

Human Rights and Displacement: Refugees and migrants
  1. Definition of a refugee: Article 1 of the Refugee Convention:
    1. "a person 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; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitualresidence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such dear, is unwilling to return to it
      1. defines who is a refugee, sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum, also sets out which people do not qualify as refugee, such as war criminals
      2. In todays of mass migration and refugee flows, migrants and asylum seekers experience particular difficulties assessing the protections available under human rights law. Please identify and sicuss at least 2 factors that contribute to this situation?
        1. Human Rights do not impose an obligation on states to accept asylum seekers. Who is responsible for them?
          1. states have an interest in protecting their borders
            1. E.g. Frontex: European organisation- coordinating border protection of European Union states
            2. under law: responsibility to rescue people when you see them - very different to actively conducting search and rescue operations
              1. controversial - gives states a way out if claim they didnt see them
            3. Paradox of Europe:
              1. very advanced system of Human Rights protecting, as same time spectacular failures in this protection
                1. however, since 2000- 22400 migrants died attempting to cross European borders, mostly by sea.
                  1. difficulty in accessing European territory in aslyum procedures
                    1. decreasing rates of asylum acceptance
                      1. unacceptable conditions of detention
                        1. diminishing access to legal aid due to austerity
                          1. everyday failures to protect migrants from racism, abuse and economic exploitation
                            1. Yarls Wood: sexual abuse - 90% of detainees are women, lack of oversight - private security company
                              1. Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre is a detainee centre run by a private security firm which has been at the centre of some disturbing news stories in recent years
                                1. serious allegations of sexual and physical abuses, and it is therefore a prime example of how in the UK migrants rights are not protected
                              2. Within the UK, there has been an increase in xenophobia and abhorrence for migrants
                                1. At the end of 2013, the UK had received 23,507 new applications for asylum
                                2. Detention is a huge problem in the UK for migrants. In March of 2010 2,800 individuals were detained in the UK under immigration act powers.
                              3. Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act gives the secretary of state far greater powers to authorise detention and the UK Borders Act of 2007 made detention mandatory for former foreign national prisoners
                      2. Migrants: the multi purpose scape goat
                        1. no political representation in host countries
                          1. undocumented living in fear of detention
                            1. relationships to home country - problematic
                              1. few advocates in host countries
                          2. there have been some periods when states have been welcoming: e.g. refugees from Soviet Union during Cold War. 1980s/1990s the generosity decreased
                          3. Hannah Arendt: the paradox of rights:
                            1. people without meaningful citizenship are at the mercy of the state - they have no power to challenge any mistreatment
                              1. Human Rights respect sovereignty
                                1. League of nations called to monitor situation and failed, because too subservient to states.
                                  1. ambiguity of whether nation state is a force for good or not. if secures the rights of citizens: good
                                    1. but produces minorities, refugees, and stateless people
                            2. Refugee crisis in the late 20th and 21st century:
                              1. Chechnya: 300'000 between 1990 and 2008. 140'000 displaced within Russia
                                1. 9'000'000 syrians since 2011
                                  1. 3'000'000 left territory of Syria to Turkey, Lebanon, iraq
                                    1. 150'000 asked for asylum in the EU
                                    2. Human Rights and the Sea:
                                      1. The mediterranean
                                        1. The left to die boat:
                                          1. March 2011: 72 men women and children left Tripoli on an inflatable rubber dinghy
                                            1. provisions taken by the smugglers. After more than 18 hours, with land noweher in sight, used a satellite phone. Priest informed local ITalien authorities. Contacted the Italian Coast guard
                                              1. Military helicopter appeared overhead. Indicated that they would return. Several hours passed with no sign of rescue.
                                                1. people began to die.
                                                  1. Day ten: dfited close to a large military vessel. No assistance was provided
                                                    1. 15th/16th !1 people left
                                                      1. washed up on a libyan town 160 km east of triplo
                                                        1. they were immediately arrested. 2 further people died.
                                          2. European Union leaders who decided last year to halt the rescue of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean will reverse their decision on Thursday at a summit hastily convened after nearly 2,000 people died at sea
                                            1. death toll at around 1,800 so far this year, compared to fewer than 100 who died before the end of April last year
                                              1. peak migration season of late spring and summer has barely begun, with international organisations estimating tens of thousands of African and Asian migrants likely to attempt the journey per month, mostly from Libya. Last year the death toll eventually reached 3,200
                                              2. Extraterritorial application of human rights law is confusing
                                                1. e.g. Libya agreed to help boats pushed back from Italy. Italy absolving its responsibility
                                                  1. pushbacks and this type of agreement are illegal
                                                    1. no clarity on how to deal with pushbacks
                                                2. Lampedusa:
                                                  1. small fishing boat from libya carrying 500 people
                                                    1. caught fire
                                                      1. 150 survivors (not granted asylum, subjected to fines and detention), 359 bodies (posthumously granted asylum)
                                                    2. rescue operation is too slow, happened 1/4 mile off from the coast - visible
                                                      1. October 10th: hot air in European Parlament - could not happen again
                                                        1. approved Euroso programme for surveillance of territorial borders
                                                  2. Why are human rights for migrants so difficult to secure?
                                                    1. international precedents and laws which many states have ratified and which exist to protect such people, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1951 Refugee Convention, and the Convention on the Protection of all Migrant Workers and their Families, adopted in 1990
                                                      1. Marie-Benedicte Dembour and Tobias Kelly
                                                        1. four arguments for why migrants find it so difficult for their human rights to be protected
                                                          1. 1. human rights are limited by the nation state through which they are enforced
                                                            1. The nation state is after all the source of human rights protection; it is the state that actively protects citizen’s human rights, and the state that is held accountable when this responsibility is not upheld
                                                              1. Even in the EU, where citizens are granted more freedom from the nation state structure, this is still dependent on European citizenship
                                                                1. it is important to recognise, as Stephanie Grant does, that the scope of protection is definitely expanding
                                                                2. 2. human rights are limited by the nature of liberal democratic closure
                                                                  1. liberal democracies work on the basis of drawing boundaries, creating closure, setting limits on jurisdiction
                                                                    1. translates into constitutional norms, which liberal democracies use as a base, where there is a continued distinction between citizens and non-citizens. Non-citizens are therefore placed outside of legal protection
                                                                    2. 3. migrants are denied access to human rights because they are a group that is often marginalised
                                                                      1. Migrants largely are part of particular socio-economic groups, predominantly poor, black, with ancestral histories of political and economic exploitation
                                                                        1. Rights are only ever granted through political struggle, and their characteristics mean that these people find it hard to organise themselves into a force to be reckoned with
                                                                        2. is the individualism and bureaucratisation of the human rights themselves that make them inherently unsuitable as a source of protection for anyone, let alone migrants
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