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This chapter discusses the law and policy relating to the protection of refugees in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is not a party to the Refugee Convention or the Refugee Protocol. It provides a brief historical review of Hong Kong’s response to Mainland Chinese refugees and Vietnamese refugees, explains its current policy and legal framework for handling claims for non-refoulement protection, and examines the roles of the Hong Kong judiciary and civil society in refugee protection. It also looks at the current challenges and opportunities for refugee protection in Hong Kong.
This chapter provides a systematic review of the legal, policy and institutional framework for refugee status determination and treatment of refugees in China. Although China acceded to the Refugee Convention and Protocol in 1982, it has not established a national mechanism for refugee status determination. Chinese law, as it currently stands, contains few provisions pertaining to refugees or asylum, is silent on who qualifies as a refugee and provides no express protection against refoulement. At the policy level, the Chinese government, in its limited public statements on refugee issues, appears to emphasise addressing root causes, rather than local integration or resettlement, as a preferred solution to refugee crises. In practice, UNHCR is the only organisation that processes asylum applications in China, whereas the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Civil Affairs have handled refugees in mass-influx situations without involving UNHCR.
This chapter provides in-depth legal and policy analyses of China’s response to five mass influxes of refugees, namely the Vietnamese refugee crisis in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the continuous inflow of North Korean escapees since the mid-1990s, the influxes of displaced ethnic Kokangs from Myanmar in August 2009 and in 2015 and the influxes of ethnic Kachins from Myanmar since 2011. This chapter also discusses the treatment of UNHCR refugees in China.
This chapter reviews our basic claim: refugee-led organisations exist, and they deserve recognition for the important roles they play. We draw out comparative analysis of RCOs based on nationality and leadership and the political economy in which they partake, and discuss practical and theoretical implications. Many RCOs offer social protection to refugees and fill gaps left by national or international providers in areas as diverse as education, vocational training, psychosocial support, health, microfinance, sport, youth engagement and legal representation. They vary in scale, focus and capacity, demonstrating the many ways in which refugees mobilise to support vulnerable members of the community. They are providing protection and assistance – the very services normally associated exclusively with international aid agencies and NGOs. For many refugees, especially those in cities, such sources of community support are perceived as more relevant to their lives than those provided by large-scale aid organisations. Yet refugee-led organisations rarely receive recognition or funding from the international humanitarian system. A deeper understanding of how they have and can contribute to refugee aid and development can act as a crucial next step to begin restructuring the architecture of assistance.
This chapter discusses the law and policy relating to the protection of refugees in Macao Special Administrative Region, which is a party to the Refugee Convention or the Refugee Protocol. It provides a brief historical review of Macao’s response to Mainland Chinese refugees and Vietnamese refugees, explains its current refugee status determination mechanism established under a 2004 law on refugee status, and looks at the current challenges and opportunities for refugee protection in Macao.
This chapter introduces the key ideas and questions that inform this work, as well as the overall structure of the subsequent chapters. Across the low- and middle-income countries that host 85 per cent of the world’s refugees, protection and assistance is provided to refugees by United Nations organisations in collaboration with a network of NGO ‘implementing partners’. The dominant humanitarian model is usually premised upon a provider-beneficiary relationship: international organisations are the protectors and refugees are the protected. In parallel to this model, however, is a largely neglected story: refugees themselves frequently mobilise to create community-based organisations or informal networks as alternative providers of social protection. They mobilise bottom-up to provide sources of assistance to other refugees in areas as diverse as education, health, livelihoods, finance and housing. Despite their importance to refugees, however, for a number of reasons introduced in this chapter, refugee-led organisations (sometimes referred to as refugee community organisations, or RCOs) generally receive little international recognition or support.
One of the justifications offered by European imperial powers for the violent conquest, subjection, and, often, slaughter of indigenous peoples in past centuries was those peoples’ violation of a duty of hospitality. Today, many of these same powers—including European Union member states and former settler colonies such as the United States and Australia—take increasingly extreme measures to avoid granting hospitality to refugees and asylum seekers. Put plainly, whereas the powerful once demanded hospitality from the vulnerable, they now deny it to them. This essay examines this hypocritical inhospitality of former centers of empire and former settler colonies and concludes that, given that certain states accrued vast wealth and territory from the European colonial project, which they justified in part by appeals to a duty of hospitality, these states are bound now to extend hospitality to vulnerable outsiders not simply as a matter of charity, but as justice and restitution for grave historical wrongs.
This article examines the causes and repercussions of the flight of two-dozen Orthodox Christian merchants from Ottoman Bosnia to Habsburg Croatia in 1873. The seemingly minor event quickly escalated from an isolated border incident to a full-blown diplomatic crisis-defused only with the merchants' repatriation, the recall of a Habsburg consul, and the removal of the Ottoman provincial governor and other officials. After outlining the course of events and increasing Ottoman-Habsburg tensions, the article turns to the refugees' efforts to affect the outcome of emerging crisis. Although ultimately of little influence, the refugees' sophisticated invocation of international legal norms reflected a largely conservative trust in the international system's ability to rectify perceived violations of treaty terms-a belief that quickly vanished after the outbreak of the Eastern Crisis in 1875.
This essay analyzes the ambivalence of the reception of the Homeric epics in anti- and postcolonial literatures. The postcolonial reception of the Odyssey can be charted between two poles: the colonizer’s Odyssey, in which works write back to the figure of Odysseus as colonizer, and Odysseus as dispossessed refugee whose wanderings reflect the condition of the wretched of the earth. While the Iliad has been less salient for postcolonial literatures, some notable receptions focus on Helen and on Priam’s back story.
There is an increasing demand for humanitarian aid around the world. At the same time, the number of makerspaces has been growing exponentially. Recently, the humanitarian sector has become interested in how these new design spaces can help crisis-affected populations. Despite the emergence of humanitarian makerspaces, there is little research to date that documents their outcomes and impacts. A multi-case study approach is taken to analyze three makerspaces that support migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Greece. A maturity grid tool is used to show that humanitarian makerspaces are driving impact in six key areas. The study underlines how these makerspaces support different design activities and have different outcomes. It also considers the challenges which are preventing humanitarian makerspaces from achieving their ultimate goals, drawing attention to the need for an enabling ecosystem in both the local and humanitarian context. This research brings clarity to the poorly understood phenomenon of humanitarian makerspaces and highlights the important role of design in humanitarian interventions. It also reveals practical insights for humanitarian organizations who are considering setting up makerspaces in crisis-affected communities.
Chapter 6 covers some new challenges associated with massive refugee populations. How can we help refugees in ways that are effective for all key stakeholders? Key stakeholders here include refugees, internally displaced populations who have not yet crossed a border, those left behind in states of origin, and those states that bear the burden of hosting large refugee populations. The chapter explores options that offer good solutions for host and home countries, for the roughly 10 percent of refugees who typically make it to high-income countries and the 90 percent who do not. Given the scale of refugee problems, we must supplement the three traditional approaches to addressing the plight of refugees (voluntary repatriation, local settlement, and resettlement), with new development-oriented and empowerment approaches. I discuss reforms that would better safeguard the human rights of displaced people or those vulnerable to displacement. In the absence of good faith and credible efforts at making such changes, our current arrangements for assisting refugees cannot be regarded as adequate. A state system that offered these up as the ways for dealing with refugees cannot be legitimate.
In this chapter, the second limitation of the human rights-based approach is examined. The chapter develops the argument that the human rights-based approach casts the personal scope of the refugee definition too widely, as anyone who is exposed to a 'sustained or systemic denial of human rights demonstrative of a failure of state protection' is, by definition, persecuted. Such a definition, however, incorporates a wide range of individuals who would not, having regard to the 'ordinary meaning' of the term, be described as 'persecuted', including people who die because of failures of the state to maintain effective disaster risk reduction infrastructure (as in the case of Budayeva v Russian Federation). The argument is advanced that this dominant definition of being persecuted misses what is fundamental to the experience of being persecuted within the meaning of the Refugee Convention. In this context, being persecuted cannot be understood without reference to the role of discrimination as a contributory cause of a person's exposure to serious denials of human rights. Employing the methodology at Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a recalibrated definition of being persecuted is articulated.
The concluding chapter applies the recalibrated human rights-based interpretation of the refugee definition in the context of disasters and climate change. A three-step methodology for determining refugee status is set out, making clear that the methodology applies in the same manner for any kind of claim for recognition of refugee status, not only those relating to disasters and climate change.
Relying on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), this chapter explains why international human rights law is relevant to the interpretation of Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention. It then describes Articles 31-33 of the VCLT, which will be relied upon to address the two limitations in the dominant human rights-based interpretation of the refugee definition identified in Chapter 3.
The introductory chapter presents the view, widely reflected by legal academics, UNHCR and senior judiciary in leading refugee law jurisdictions, that the Refugee Convention has very limited relevance to displacement across borders in the context of disasters and climate change. Some key examples of this perspective are presented and a connection is made between the expression of this view and what the book terms the ‘hazard paradigm’ to understanding disasters. The chapter notes that much of the jurisprudence reflecting the hazard paradigm has relied upon disasters as an aid to articulating the scope of the refugee definition. The argument is advanced that the critical analysis of epistemological and doctrinal assumptions underpinning this 'dominant view' helps to clarify the contours of the refugee definition in general, as well as in the specific context that is the focus of the book.
In this chapter, the first limitation identified in the human rights-based approach is considered. The chapter develops the argument that the dominant human rights-based approach reflects an 'event paradigm' that only recognises that a person is persecuted once she has become the victim of a serious denial of human rights. From this perspective, persecution is equivalent to the kinds of harm recognised by international human rights law, such as being tortured. It therefore follows that the well-founded fear criterion has come to be seen as introducing a criterion of risk assessment, determining how likely it is that 'persecution' might happen on return. This perspective casts the temporal scope of being persecuted too narrowly, and, using the methodology set out at Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the argument is advanced that a person can accurately be described as being persecuted before being subjected to a serious denial of human rights, and that the risk of being exposed to such harm is inherent in the predicament of being persecuted. Rather than being an event, being persecuted is better understood as a condition of existence.
Chapter 4 focuses on the EU–Turkey Syrian refugee deal, which was activated on November 29, 2015. It makes the argument that Turkey used the urgency of the refugee crisis and its position as a major transit country for refugees en route to Europe as leverage to acquire visa liberalization with the EU and bring momentum to its accession negotiation talks. By using active diplomacy and issue-linkage bargaining, Turkey was also able to secure the EU’s commitment to modernization of the Customs Union Agreement and provision of financial support for the welfare and protection of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Upon realizing that the perquisites secured through the deal were not going to materialize due to a multiplicity of reasons, Turkey switched to compellent threats and blackmail and engaged in boundary challenging against the EU. The refugee deal between the EU and Turkey makes it very costly for the EU to ‘lose’ Turkey and will serve as a good litmus test on whether Turkey will switch from challenging to breaking its boundaries with the EU. If the threat of revoking the deal becomes reasonably credible, then it is possible to talk about a switch to boundary breaking.
Decades of marginalization have led Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon to experience multigenerational poverty and food insecurity. The Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Children programme implemented and examined the impact of a two-pronged intervention that employed women through community kitchens to deliver a subsidized healthy daily school snack to elementary-school children in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. We describe the rationale, study design, theorized impact pathways, and discuss lessons learned.
The programme was quasi-experimental. We conducted formative and process evaluation of both components of the intervention to elucidate the pathways to programme impact.
Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Thirty-three women participated in the kitchens and provided subsidized snacks to 714 children.
Snacks were healthy, traditional Palestinian recipes designed by women and a nutritionist. Participation fluctuated but eventually increased after modifying the meals to ensure acceptability by children. The main challenges to sustainability related to the need for subsidization of the meals and the lack of school policies around the regulation of sales of school food, which together led to fluctuations in programme participation.
The study provides lessons learned on the potential of this model to improve the human capital of two generations of protracted refugees. The availability of schools as a constant market for these social enterprises offers an opportunity for sustainable livelihood generation and food security gains. Challenges to sustainability remain and could be addressed through social (subsidies to support the programme) and structural (policies to restrict unhealthy food sales) measures.