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The Child in International Refugee Law
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Book description

Children are the victims of some of the most devastating examples of state-sanctioned and private human rights abuse. In increasing numbers, they are attempting to find international protection, and are forced to navigate complex administrative and legal processes that fail to take into account their distinct needs and vulnerabilities. The key challenges they face in establishing entitlement to refugee protection are their invisibility and the risk of incorrect assessment. Drawing on an extensive and original analysis of jurisprudence of leading common law jurisdictions, this book undertakes an assessment of the extent to which these challenges may be overcome by greater engagement between international refugee law and international law on the rights of the child. The result is the first comprehensive study on the manner in which these two mutually reinforcing legal regimes can interact to strengthen the protection of refugee children.


'This book is an exceptional contribution to international refugee law; it displays originality and rigour throughout. It is a remarkable achievement and a major scholarly intervention in ongoing conversations about the future direction of international refugee law. The arguments advanced will have a profound impact on the approach to the relationship between international human rights law and refugee law, and will assist in reshaping legal and policy responses.'

Colin Harvey - Queen’s University, Belfast

'This creative work of scholarship will raise the visibility of the many thousands of children now in search of refuge and protection. It identifies and clarifies relevant and operative rights, and provides a solid jurisprudential bridge between refugee status and the best interests of the child. What is more, it underlines the immediate obligations of States, whose active and protective intervention is required if children on the move are not to lose what can never be recovered - their childhood.'

Guy S. Goodwin-Gill - Emeritus Professor of International Refugee Law, University of Oxford

'Meticulous research has been accompanied by rigorous scholarship to produce a work that anyone working in the field of child refugee law must read.'

John Tobin - Director of Studies, Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne

'This book is an important addition to the leading texts on refugee law. It combines deep erudition, clear exposition and excellent analysis. It is essential reading for scholars, practitioners and judges interested in this field.'

Raza Husain QC - Matrix Chambers

'This book is published at just the right time, when there is increasing sophistication among practitioners and scholars about the complex issues involved in theorizing protection claims and providing effective representation to children refugees, accounting for their unique needs and vulnerabilities as children. Pobjoy’s treatise is not only a major scholarly achievement, but it will have practical uses as well for lawyers representing refugee children, especially as they consider alternative and supportive international frameworks (such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child) beyond the familiar Refugee Convention context.'

Deborah Anker - Director and Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts

'The Child in International Refugee Law is an important book that should prompt discussion and debate on several fronts. Every substantial part of it prompts reflection about difficult and unjustly neglected aspects of international refugee law, and some elements represent potential building blocks for a positive reconsideration and development of international refugee law to better align with obligations created by the CRC [Convention on the Rights of the Child]. Overall, the work provides a substantial basis for what should be a continuing attention to all of the topics covered.'

Eric Fripp Source: International Journal of Refugee Law

'… this book starts a conversation that has been needed for a long time, and will undoubtedly be considered by scholars and decision makers alike.'

Sarah Staples Source: AmeriQuests (

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