The 13th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law (Naples, 2017) will explore how international law has responded, or can or should respond, to the fundamental challenge of defining and regulating global public goods, global commons and fundamental values. The pre-conference workshop organised by the ESIL Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law (MigRefLaw) in conjunction with the Leiden based project ‘Interaction between Legal Systems’ will focus on the realisation of the global public good and fundamental value of international protection of forcibly displaced individuals and the benefits of safe, regular and orderly migration to all actors involved.
Within the 250 million international migrants globally, about 65.6 million people are forcibly displaced. The situation in and around the arena of the Mediterranean has been labelled as a “crisis”, an “emergency”. This emergency does not take place in a legal void. To the contrary: the overall picture that emerges is one of multiple levels of governance, actors and legal regimes. Law making and law enforcement as well as humanitarian efforts take place in a global and EU context of treaties and regulations; a framework whose complexity is augmented by a myriad of national immigration and asylum regimes. Under the broad title of ‘the future of international migration law’, i.e. the body of law and the accompanying governance levels and actors sketched above, the IG MigRefLaw workshop investigates how these multiple levels and legal regimes interact, and how this affects the provision of international protection.
Date: Wednesday, 6 September 2017
More info can be found here.
Interest Group member Nikolaos Sitaropoulos’ work appeared in the European Journal of Migration and Law (Vol. 19, (2)) titled: “Migrant Ill-Treatment in Greek Law Enforcement – Are the Strasbourg Court Judgments the Tip of the Iceberg?“. Numerous instances of migrant ill-treatment, including torture, in Greek law enforcement have been recorded over a long period of time by international human rights monitoring organisations. The frequent reporting of such incidents though was not accompanied by any major judgments by the Strasbourg Court until Alsayed Allaham and Zontul in 2007 and 2012 respectively. The article provides an analysis of these first major judgments which usefully shed light on the underlying, long-standing systemic failures of the Greek law, as well as of the law enforcement and judicial authorities’ practice. It is argued that the above judgments are in fact only the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading
The ESIL Interest Group (IG) on Migration and Refugee Law is organizing a pre-conference event on the 6th of September 2017 in Naples (Italy) entitled “The Future of International Migration Law”, in the framework of the 13th ESIL Annual Conference (7-9 September 2017). Our Interest Group will host two panels of speakers: one on the de-fragmentation of EU migration and asylum governance (confirmed speakers in provisional programme), and another panel on (ab)normalities of international migration and refugee law: challenges and innovations. For the latter we are launching a call for papers.
We are not aiming for fully-fledged papers but for contributions of up to 2000 to 2500 words (extended abstracts). The eventual short papers (extended abstracts) should be sent to the IG conveners by 15 August 2017 in order to circulate them amongst the panellists prior to the workshop.
The Interest Group invites submissions of abstracts of no more than 400 words. Applications should be submitted to email@example.com by 25 June 2017, with a short curriculum vitae containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. The selected presenters will be notified by 30 June 2017. Please note that the Interest Group also invites the submission of papers by non-ESIL members.
The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has currently two vacancies in the field of migration studies: a PhD position (4 years) on ‘Europe’s Migration and Migrant Integration Policies in Uncertain Times’ and a one-year Pre-Doc position on ‘Migration Governance in West Africa’ in cooperation with the UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies. The deadline for both vacancies is 30 April 2017. More info can be found here.
by Tom Syring
(Originally posted on the webpage of the American Society of International Law)
March 22, 2017 marks the 24th annual World Water Day  – an appropriate occasion to reflect upon the connection between environmental pollution, general health and living conditions, and forced migration in the broader context of the responsibility of states and businesses to improve the current global state of affairs. The recent inundations in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), exemplify the importance of this juncture.
Sergio Carciotto and IG member Cristiano d’Orsi have published a report for the Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa titled ‘Access to Socio-Economic Rights for Refugees: A Comparison Across Six African Countries’. The comparison covers the DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South-Africa and Sudan.
In 2015, according to the UNHCR, more than 65 million people across the globe had left their homes in search of protection from conflicts, wars and persecutions. At the end of the same year, on the African continent (Central and Great Lakes, East and Horn, Southern Africa, and Western Africa) the UNHCR counted a total of 4 431 500 refugees, 1 293 014 asylum-seekers and 10 762 882 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Furthermore, Ethiopia is the African country hosting the highest number of refugees (736 086), South Africa is the country with the highest number of asylum-seekers (1 096 063) and Sudan is the country with the highest number of IDPs (3 218 234).
Despite the fact that human mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa is driven more by economic factors than conflicts, the continent is home to millions of refugees and IDPs who are forced to flee their homes because of persecutions, social unrests and climate change. The current state of forced displacement in Africa presents a number of socio-economic and political challenges which need to be addressed in order to reverse this trend and reduce the number of people in need of international protection.
The report is available here.
The Italian Society of International Law and European Law issued a call for papers for its XXII Annual Conference to be held at the University of Trento (8-9 June 2017). The theme is ‘Migration and International Law: Beyond the Emergency?’. Aside from three plenary sessions, there are two rounds of parallel sessions which are open to participation through this call for papers. Submissions / contributions are particularly welcome around the following thematic areas: 1) main solutions, 2) role of international institutions and their agencies in managing migration, 3) responsibility of States and of international organisations, 4) conditions of migrants in the host country, 5) relationships of migrants with those remaining in countries of origin as well as with the host society. The deadline for abstracts is 15 April 2017. More details can be found here.
By Vladislava Stoyanova
Interest Group member Vladislava Stoyanova (Postdoctoral fellow at Lund University) just published her book Human Trafficking and Slavery Reconsidered. Conceptual Limits and States’ Positive Obligations in European Law at Cambridge University Press. By reconsidering the definitions of human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced labour, she demonstrates how, in embracing the human trafficking framework, the international community has sidelined the human rights law commitments against slavery, servitude and forced labour that in many respects provide better protection for abused migrants. Stoyanova proposes two corrective steps to this development: placing a renewed emphasis on determining the definitional scope of slavery, servitude or forced labour, and gaining a clearer understanding of states’ positive human rights obligations. This book compares anti-trafficking and human rights frameworks side-by-side and focuses its analysis on the Council of Europe’s Trafficking Convention and Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. With innovative arguments and pertinent case studies, this book is an important contribution to the field and will appeal to students, scholars and legal practitioners interested in human rights law, migration law, criminal law and EU law.
By Didem Doğar
Interest Group member Didem Doğar, PhD candidate at McGill University, recently published an article in Refugee Survey Quarterly entitled: ‘Against All Odds: Turkey’s Reponse to “Undesirable but Unreturnable” Asylum-Seekers’. This piece critically analyses Turkish legislation and practice regulating the status of “undesirable but unreturnable” asylum-seekers, who are suspected and/or convicted of criminality but cannot be removed from Turkey due to the principle of non-refoulement, questioning how the issue is tackled by the Turkish State. The current political situation in the region having forced it to change and update its legislation, it has created a temporary protection regimen to handle refugee influxes, a subsidiary protection regime, and other categories of staying permits for foreigners who cannot be removed from Turkish territory. Beyond the political situation, its legal and judicial initiatives are, however, affected by its international and regional legal obligations, as European Court of Human Rights case law demonstrates. There is limited information as to how many exclusion-triggered cases are processed and how many refugees are excluded and what happens to those who are excluded after this decision. Furthermore, Turkey’s situation might be untenable, as it is the main transit hub for foreign terrorist fighters and people fleeing the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts.
By Nikolaos Sitaropoulos
This blog was originally posted on the Blog of Border Criminologies, Oxford University.
A number of reports by international human rights organisations, like CPT and Amnesty International, have recorded numerous cases of ill-treatment, including torture, suffered by migrants while under the control of Greek law enforcement officials. Despite the frequent reporting of such incidents there have not been any major cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights (‘Strasbourg Court’ or ‘the Court’) until recently. In 2003 the first application (Alsayed Allaham), concerning the ill-treatment of a Syrian migrant by police in Athens, was lodged. The 2007 judgment against Greece in Alsayed Allaham was followed by another judgment in 2012 in the Zontul case condemning Greece once more for failing to investigate the rape of a Turkish asylum-seeking detainee by a coast guard officer in Crete. Both cases demonstrated the need for structural changes in Greek law and practice in order to eradicate impunity and ill-treatment in the law enforcement sector.