Refugee Responsibility Sharing or Responsibility Dumping?

40 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2021

See all articles by Katerina Linos

Katerina Linos

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Elena Chachko

Harvard University, Law School

Date Written: June 10, 2021

Abstract

A silver lining of recent migration crises is increased reliance on responsibility sharing arrangements in international actor responses. This new experience allows for evidence-based analysis of such arrangements. We distinguish between progressive arrangements—ones that shift responsibilities to more affluent, institutionally competent, and safer countries—and regressive arrangements that do the opposite and in fact constitute responsibility dumping.

Focusing on examples from the United Nations, United States and the European Union, we classify different responsibility sharing arrangements as progressive or regressive based on four parameters: hosting commitments, monetary or equivalent contributions, multilateralism and legally binding instruments. The analysis suggests that first safe country arrangements are presumptively regressive, while arrangements that include hosting or material commitments are presumptively progressive. The EU model is a particularly progressive model that ought to spread. We also highlight the importance of assessing refugee policy solutions with a view to broader, systemic implications for host countries, and not just against an individual-focused legal threshold.

Keywords: International refugee law, immigration law, responsibility sharing, policy diffusion

Suggested Citation

Linos, Katerina and Chachko, Elena, Refugee Responsibility Sharing or Responsibility Dumping? (June 10, 2021). California Law Review, Forthcoming 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3865370

Katerina Linos

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

488 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Elena Chachko (Contact Author)

Harvard University, Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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