Migration

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Generous, but Equal Treatment? Anti-Discrimination Duties of States Hosting Refugees Fleeing Ukraine

More than 5 million refugees have recently fled Ukraine, the fastest-growing mass displacement in this century. About a quarter of Ukraine’s population and half of its children have fled their homes. The European Union (EU) responded with a first-time activation of the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD). Lurking behind tremendous generosity, States have treated arrivals from Ukraine differently than other recent flows of forced migrants and have also treated some fleeing Ukraine differently than others. Although differential treatment is not always discriminatory under human rights law, some State responses to the current crisis arguably have been. Fortunately, the law creates myriad ways to challenge these violations. Using this law in the courts, we argue, could foster better protection of refugees and other migrants in the current crisis and in the future, strengthening non-discrimination’s rightful place as a key tool for advancing the rights of people crossing borders. We have identified three contexts in which discriminatory treatment has emerged, or likely will, in the course of mass displacement from Ukraine: (i)…

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Pushbacks and Lawlessness

Dozens of cases before the European Court of Human Rights claim that Greek authorities are engaged in a policy of secret returns of persons seeking asylum back to Turkey, or ‘pushbacks’. Α post on this blog, ‘Pushbacks as Euphemism’ by Niamh Keady-Tabbai and Itamar Mann drew attenttion to the alleged ‘driftbacks’ in the Aegean. These, however,…

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Weaponisation of Migrants? Migrants as a (Political) Weapon and the EU Regulatory Response: What to Expect Now

State-sponsored mass migration can be a tremendously effective tool to destabilise a specific target country. The recent events at the Belarus-Polish border are only the most recent example of the so-called instrumentalisation of migration as an instrument of an aggressive foreign policy. The Belarus government pushed thousands of migrants from different countries, like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, towards…

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Poland’s Power Play at its Borders Violates Fundamental Human Rights Law 

While the political and diplomatic power play between the European Union and Belarus over sanctions and gas delivery cuts escalate, the conditions for thousands of migrants physically trapped between borders deteriorates by the hour. Despite a ban of journalists at the border area based on Poland’s declared emergency status, videos and pictures of migrants, including…

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Realising the Right to Leave during Externalised Migration Control

States, predominantly those in the Global North, routinely engage in externalised migration control to obstruct and control the movement of asylum seekers and other migrants. Broadly speaking, externalised migration control involves the implementation of migration control practices and deterrence policies beyond a state’s territory or having extraterritorial effects. Externalisation is often viewed and…

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