Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 March 2021
This analytical gap can be explained at least in part by reference to the tradition of most developed states simply to admit refugees, formally or in practice, as long-term or permanent residents. While not required by the Refugee Convention,2 this approach led de facto to respect for most Convention rights (and often more). Because refugee rights were not at risk, there was understandably little perceived need to elaborate their meaning.
Today, however, governments of the industrialized world increasingly question the logic of routinely assimilating refugees, and have therefore sought to limit their access to Convention rights. Most commonly, questions are now raised about whether refugees should be allowed to enjoy freedom of movement, to work, to access public welfare programs, or to be reunited with family members.