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Rescuing Migrants at Sea: The Responsibility of States Under International Law

Efthymios Papastavridis

Academy of Athens

September 27, 2011

The challenges posed by undocumented migration should not be underestimated, nor should the practical difficulties of ensuring the rights of migrants who are rescued at sea and whose fate, to a large extent, depends on international negotiations with other countries for their disembarkation and their repatriation. The present paper examines this delicate issue through the lens of the institution of State responsibility. The purpose is to delineate the different legal frameworks governing the rescue of migrants at sea and discuss the various cases, in which the responsibility of either the flag State or the coastal States would arise under international law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Rescue at Sea, High Seas, Law of the Sea Convention, Non-Refoulement, State Responsibility

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Date posted: September 29, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Papastavridis, Efthymios, Rescuing Migrants at Sea: The Responsibility of States Under International Law (September 27, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1934352 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1934352

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Efthymios Papastavridis (Contact Author)
Academy of Athens ( email )
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