Globalizing Rights and Going Wrong: Finding the 'Right' Path to Refugee Protection
5:2 Journal of International Law and International Relations 141, 2009
25 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2009
The call has gone out for a conception of rights detached from the sovereign state - a call for ‘global rights.’ At the same time, a rights-based approach to the refugee regime is increasingly commonplace. This article connects the call for global rights to the refugee rights context. Understanding the globalized rights call requires a focus on the seemingly growing potential for a conception of rights in a space not tied to statehood. Stepping beyond this threshold challenge of feasibility, the article reviews a select strand of American rights scholarship to demonstrate the dangers behind rights advocacy and attainment. Past incidents of refugee rights claims illustrate the point. Finally, the anti-rights and counter-rights mobilization and discourse in Australia and Canada that arise when asylum-seekers approach their borders reveal the failings of the rights-based approach. These lessons of the past reinforce the argument that while globalized rights may be increasingly possible in migration, they are not the right path to protection.
Keywords: human rights, Canada, Australia, US, sovereignty, migration, asylum, refugee, law
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