Call for papers: Undesirable and Unreturnable

On 25-26 January 2016, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, will host an international conference entitled ‘Undesirable and Unreturnable? Policy challenges around excluded asylum-seekers and other migrants suspected of serious criminality but who cannot be removed’.

This international conference initiates reflection on the emerging public policy challenge of excluded asylum-seekers and other migrants suspected of serious criminality but who cannot be removed from the territory of the host State.

The conference forms part of an AHRC-supported international research network project led by the Refugee Law Initiative, University of London, and the Center for International Criminal Justice, VU University Amsterdam. It aims to present and discuss state-of-the-art research and thinking by network participants, whilst incorporating new perspectives gathered via an open call for papers.

More information can be found here

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Asylum-Seeker and Refugee Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa

publication by a member of the Interest Group
by Cristiano d’Orsi

It is not often acknowledged that the great majority of African refugee movement happens within Africa rather than from Africa to the West. A new book by Cristiano d’Orsi examines the specific characteristics and challenges of the refugee situation in Sub-Saharan Africa, offering a new and critical vision on the situation of asylum-seekers and refugees in the African continent. d’Orsi considers the international, regional and domestic legal and institutional frameworks linked to refugee protection in Sub-Saharan Africa, and explores the contributions African refugee protection has brought to the cause on a global scale.

Key issues covered in the book include the theory and the practice of non-refoulement, an analysis of the phenomenon of mass-influx, the concept of burden-sharing, and the role of freedom fighters. The book goes on to examine the expulsions of refugees and the historical role played by UNHCR in Sub-Saharan Africa.

More information can be found here

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Call for papers: 2015 Witten Conference on Institutional Change

The Witten Institute for Institutional Change (WIWa) invites submissions of papers and organized sessions for the 2nd Witten Conference on Institutional Change which will be conducted with the  support by the Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft and the Forschungskolleg Siegen. The 2015 Conference will focus on ‘Migration, Institutions, and Institutional Change’. It will take place on 6 and 7 November at Witten/Herdecke University in Witten, Germany.

In recent years, the ‘institutional turn’ in the social sciences has increasingly influenced migration research. Especially in economics, this has led to a broader view on the determinants of migration decisions and the consequences of migration for the countries of origin as well as for the target countries. The institutional perspective on migration offers various opportunities for co-operation among the different disciplines in the social sciences. So far, however, these opportunities have not been fully exploited.

The 2nd Witten Conference on Institutional Change intends to foster the inter-disciplinary discourse on the institutional dimension of migration. Papers dealing with the general topic of ‘Migration, Institutions, and Institutional Change’ from an economic, sociological, philosophical, political and/or legal perspective are equally welcome.

More information can be found here.

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An Empty Shell? The Protection of Social Rights of Third-Country Workers in the EU after the Single Permit Directive

publication by a member of the Interest Group
by Dr. Ana Beduschi

Dr. Ana Beduschi, lecturer in law at the University of Exeter, has published an article in the European Journal of Migration and Law. In this article, Beduschi assesses the effectiveness of third-country nationals’ social rights protection in the EU following the adoption of Directive 2011/98/EU (‘the Single Permit Directive’). She argues that despite being an important instrument allowing for a better protection of social rights of third-country nationals, the directive still reveals significant inconsistencies, such as the imposition of important restrictions on social rights while implementing the directive. Accordingly, she argues that the protection of third-country workers’ social rights in the EU still largely depends on the Member States’ political will.

You can read the article here.

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Worldwide displacement at all time high of 60 million people

Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to a new report from UNHCR.

UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released on June 18 2015, said that worldwide displacement was at the highest level ever recorded. It said the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.

The increase represents the biggest leap ever seen in a single year. Moreover, the report said the situation was likely to worsen still further.

Read more here

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Publication: High Time for a Fair Israeli Asylum Regime

Publication by a member of the Interest Group: Dr. Reuben (Ruvi) Ziegler

20th June marks World Refugee Day, proclaimed by UN General Assembly Resolution 55/76 of 4 December 2000 to commemorate the convening of the Convention of Plenipotentiaries that has led to the adoption of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Last year, UNHCR reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post Second World era, exceeded 50 million people. According to figures published on 18 June 2015, the number is now 59.5 Million.

The massive increase in recent tears was driven mainly by the conflict in Syria: more than half of the state’s population has been internally or externally displaced. Outside Syria, the lion’s share of refugees reside in Syria’s neighbouring states (save Israel), hosting between then close to 4 million refugees (1.8 million in Turkey, 1.2 million in Lebanon, 600,000 in Jordan, 250,000 in Iraq). Indeed, 86 per cent of refugees globally reside in the developing world. Recently, the plight of refugees has received greater attention as a result of the harrowing scenes of persons (primarily Syrians, Eritreans, and Somalis) drowning in the Mediterranean, and of the Rohingya fleeing from Myanmar. The EU’s initial response to the crisis on its shores has been harshly critiqued (e.g. by Costello and Giuffre);  a European Commission proposal for setting a refugee resettlement quota for each EU member state faces considerable political resistance.

Against this background, it is worthwhile shedding light of the dire state of the Israeli asylum system and the predicament that ensues for asylum seekers. I have previously discussed this topic in this form (see e.g. Detention of Asylum Seekers in Israel: Welcome to Round Three and links provided there) and have offered comprehensive analysis thereof in a recently published article (2015) 29(2) Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law 172). Continue reading

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Call for Papers on Europe’s Burden sharing

UCD Sutherland School of Law welcomes paper proposals for its eighteenth Irish European Law Forum, addressing the topic of “Europe’s Shared Burden: Collective Responsibility for Migrants at Sea”, to be held on 9th and 10th October 2015 at University College Dublin. The workshop aims to foster a strong interdisciplinary focus in order to better understand and critically engage with the concept of collective responsibility in the context of irregular maritime migration.

In this respect, contributions from law, politics, philosophy, as well as other cognate social and human science disciplines are encouraged.  Keynote addresses are to be delivered byboth Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative for International Migration and Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Professor of International Refugee Law, University of Oxford (TBC).

More information can be found here

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Event in Brussels on Dublin

The Greens in de European Parliament organize a public conference with the subject ‘Beyond Dublin: Rethinking Europe’s Asylum System’. The event will be held on 3 June 2015 from 15-18.30 in Brussels. It is organized by the MEPs Bodil Ceballos, Ska Keller, Jean Lambert, Judith Sargentini, and Josep-Maria Terricabras.

For more more information about the event and the speakers, click here

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Human costs of border control

On 12 May 2015, researchers of VU University Amsterdam release a border death database, based on official death records of migrants who died at the Southern European borders in the years 1990-2013. They suggest that European states continue to collect such data supervised by a new European Migrant Death Observatory which is should be part of the Council of Europe.

This European Migrant Death Observatory can achieve two aims:
1. Adapt European migration policies so less people die at the border
2. Identify more people

The database contains individualized information on 3.188 people who died while attempting to reach southern EU countries from the Balkans, the Middle East, and North & West Africa, and whose bodies were found in or brought to Europe. It is unique because it includes – where known – date and place of death, cause of death, gender, age, country of origin, and whether or not the person was identified. Over the past year, 13 researchers visited 563 local civil registries in Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta and Gibraltar and collected information from death certificates. “This database underlines decades of indifference of European states. They had this information all the time, but failed to collect it”, says Thomas Spijkerboer.

More information can be found here.

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Training Seminar on Dublin III

The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation is organising a training on ‘Dublin III, two years on: refugees and asylum seekers in the EU and beyond’. The training will be held 19-21 June in Venice, Italy.

Two years into the endorsement of the “Dublin III regulation”, international protection provided by the EU to the increasing number of asylum seekers fleeing their countries is being challenged. Efficacy of these norms and policies is under scrutiny, as well as the complex relationship between the EU and its member states when it comes to concrete implementation. Is Dublin III – and more broadly the common European asylum system – meeting human rights concerns emerging from the migration crisis and the many recent humanitarian disasters? What are the dilemmas faced by European lawyers and legal practitioners when it comes to everyday application of EU and international legal standards on asylum?

The training seminar on “Dublin III, two years on. Asylum seekers and refugees in the EU and beyond” is set to analyze these important questions. It is designed to provide participants with an overview of the European asylum system and foster cross-border cooperation and networking among legal practitioners from all EU and non-EU countries involved in the application of the relevant national, EU and international standards.

More information can be found here

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