Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Migrant Rights Protections

  • Ralph Wilde (a1)
Extract

One story that can be told about the development of legal protections for certain forced migrants in international law is, in terms of the scope of protection, a progressive one. From expanded definitions of who is entitled to refugee-law protection, to the development of complementary protection in human rights law, the ambit of that which the law purports to cover has moved wider. This might be seen as part of the broader trend in the expanding coverage of international human rights law generally. Yet, a counternarrative can also be told: a diminished commitment on the part of many states, particularly economically advantaged ones, to inward migration, including of forced migrants, as evidenced in the expanded scope of non-entrée, “closed borders” measures, from visa restrictions to carrier sanctions, push-back operations, and an unwillingness to engage in numerically significant refugee resettlements to their countries. This backlash trend can also be identified in human rights policy generally. Just as the scope of human rights legal protection in general, and the legal protection accorded to certain migrants in particular, has expanded, so too states have become less willing to provide such protection.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Migrant Rights Protections
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Migrant Rights Protections
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Migrant Rights Protections
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All

1 On the idea of a general erosion in the commitment to refugees including the non-refoulement obligation, see, e.g., Agnès G. Hurwitz, The Collective Responsibility of States to Protect Refugees 178 (2009) and sources cited therein.

2 On the trend in human rights law generally, see, e.g., Criticism of the European Court of Human Rights (Patricia Popelier et al. eds., 2016) and sources cited therein.

3 On the development of the non-refoulement obligation in human rights law territorially, see, e.g., Jane McAdam, The Evolution of Complementary Protection (2007) and sources cited therein. On the extraterritorial application of human rights law in the area of civil and political rights, see, e.g., Ralph Wilde, The Extraterritorial Application of International Human Rights Law on Civil and Political Rights, in Routledge Handbook on Human Rights 635 (Nigel Rodley & Scott Sheeran eds., 2013) and sources cited therein.

4 Hirsi Jamaa v. It., App No. 27765/09, 55 EHRR 21 (GC) (2012).

5 On the scope of applicability of human rights treaties in the field of civil and political rights, see, e.g., Ralph Wilde, Legal “Black Hole”?: Extraterritorial State Action and International Treaty Law on Civil and Political Rights, 26 Mich. J. Int'l L. 739 (2005) and sources cited therein.

6 See, e.g., id., sec. II and sources cited therein.

7 See id., sec. IV.C. and sources cited therein.

9 Olgun Akbulut, Turkey: The European Convention on Human Rights as a Tool for Modernisation, in Criticism of the European Court of Human Rights 424 (Patricia Popelier et al. eds., 2016).

10 Indeed, it is notable that the other main issue precipitating an exceptional backlash in the United Kingdom, prisoners’ voting rights, is also concerned with the rights of individuals who, like foreigners, are placed in a separate, lesser category from citizens, and where the legal issue challenges this treatment (voting being a right that is quintessentially tied to citizenship, the denial of which being tied up, alongside the deprivation of liberty, with the breaking of the civic bond that forms the basis for a serious criminal conviction).

The research on this piece is part of the Human Rights Beyond Borders project funded by the European Research Council.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

AJIL Unbound
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2398-7723
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed