Legal Responses to the EU Migrant Crisis: Too Little, Too Late?
Forthcoming in Migration in the 21st Century (E-International Relations, 2018)
12 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2017
Date Written: February 15, 2017
The Syrian war has brought the massive influx of asylum claimants and refugees across the European Union (EU) into sharp relief. Despite the humanitarian crisis, the international and regional EU responses to the migrant crisis have been inadequate and much too late. First, international organisations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have proposed an approach which seems to undermine the original object and purpose of the Refugee Convention, by recognising refugees in groups instead of allowing individualised refugee status determination. Second, the EU approach to trade Syrian refugees one for one from those traveling through Greece to Turkey undermines international protection such as non-refoulement for asylum claimants. It is argued that in order to properly safeguard the rights of asylum claimants, proper substantive and procedural safeguards need to be in place, as well as an enlarged role of the regional courts in the EU in adjudicating asylum decisions. This chapter will explore the international and regional legal responses employed by the UNHCR and the EU in addressing the massive influx of asylum claimants into and across Europe as a result of the Syrian armed conflict.
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