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Family Reunification Regulations and Women: The Perspective of International Law

Polish Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 36 (2016), pp. 83-108

29 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2017  

Wojciech Burek

Institute of European Studies - Jagiellonian University

Date Written: August 24, 2017

Abstract

The concept of family reunification is well established in contemporary migration laws, at both the national and international levels. Focusing on international and EU law, in this article I argue that while existing provisions on family reunification are formulated in neutral language, from the gender point of view the enforcement of these substantively neutral rules may, in certain situations, result in discrimination, or at least bring about negative consequences, with respect to women in cases both when they are the sponsors of migration or the bearers of consequences of male migration. Following presentation of the international legal framework on family reunification and the relevant international jurisprudence, I deal with some rather common aspects relating to the personal scope of family reunification regulations, covering only the issues of who can, and who cannot, join their family member(s)/sponsor(s) in a foreign country (i.e. the unmarried minor rule, excluded forms of marriages – polygamous and forced marriages - and age limits). Some procedural aspects of family reunification are then dealt with (waiting periods, delays in proceedings, and end of a relationship as a cause for termination of residence rights.). These issues are examined with respect to concerns that they may cause indirect, or even direct, gender discrimination in some cases, while in others they may affect women more negatively than men.

Keywords: Directive 2003/86/EC, family reunification, gender discrimination, international law, women’s rights

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Burek, Wojciech, Family Reunification Regulations and Women: The Perspective of International Law (August 24, 2017). Polish Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 36 (2016), pp. 83-108. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3025867

Wojciech Burek (Contact Author)

Institute of European Studies - Jagiellonian University ( email )

Jodlowa 13
Krakow, 30-252
Poland

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