Since the early 1990s, the UN Security Council has used its enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to address different aspects of international refugee protection from the root causes of forced displacement to the search for durable solutions to the refugee problem. At the same time, however, the Security Council has been criticized for impelling trends towards state security concerns that have emerged in the refugee-protection regime over the past two decades. By establishing safe areas in Iraq, Bosnia, and Rwanda, or linking refugee status to terrorism, the Security Council has been accused of violating established refugee-protection standards. This paper seeks to use the prism of international refugee protection to draw a more nuanced picture of the normative effects of SC actions on the development of international law generally. Shifting the analytical focus from the much-discussed responsibility of the Security Council for wrongful acts, it is submitted that the practice of the Security Council has had a considerable influence on the development and even making of norms in the field of international refugee protection, thereby eroding established refugee-protection standards. This normative erosion through the inherently political actions of the Security Council will be assessed with regard to the principal measures by which the Security Council has addressed international refugee protection, namely peace operations and economic sanctions.
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