International Relations: Introduction


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An introduction to Refugee Concept

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  • International Relations: Introduction

    2. 2. Introduction: Who is a refugee? (common attributes Trace the origin of International refugee protection in modern states? Who is a refugee- law? (Geneva Convention) Implication and Weaknesses of the Geneva Convention? Other response to refugee problem (OAU and Cartagena Convention?
    3. 3. Common Definition (Attributes) A person who has been obliged to abandon his or her usual place of residence- Media Journalist Constitute people who have been forced from their homes as a result of war, political oppression People displaced across borders- UNHCR
    4. 4. Common Definition (Attributes) ‘Boats people’- Canary Island People who live in sprawling camps and are dependent on international relief organizations for their basic needs
    5. 5. Origin of Int’l Refugees Protection Human history- displacement has existed since the beginning of organized settlement Ancient civilization Human migration in Africa- led to permanent settlement Historians- refugee is a problem is a modern concept- 21st century
    6. 6. Cont’d Refugeehood is associated to Westphalia Treaty of 1648 & romantic nationalism in Europe (Factors) Recognition of sovereignty State responsibility- individual protection & territory Country of nationality- people crossing border required to show identification When Refugee is anyone fleeing a problem usually not of their own making, heading towards another country or a place within the country of their origin
    7. 7. 1680-religious problems- Huguenots Law that outlawed Protestantism in France- US, Switzerland, SA, Germany & Prussia People fleeing Russian industrial revolution & political revolution (1917) 1881-1920- Eastern Europe Emigration of Jews 1920- Unrestricted migration no need categorize (protect)
    8. 8. Early Promise of Inte’l Refugee Protection End of WWI measures begun to be put in place to regulate and resolve refugee problems Why? – States allowed unrestricted migration- states did not see each other as threats- Britain, Germany competition for balance of power, industrial revolution & transatlantic trade, colonialism – magnitude of displaced people- 9.5 million Define and give reasons for being a refugee
    9. 9. Cont’d…. First World – 1914-1918: Breakdown of Ottoman & Austro-Hungarian Empire Russian revolution (1917) & creation of Soviet Union Russia- fleeing civil conflict, persecution & totalitarian regime & emerging ideology of Soviet U. League of Nations- (Res. 26 Feb 1921)- HCR ( Nansen Fridtjof)- travel documents- Nansen Passport- travel to safe places
    10. 10. Cont’d Who were refugees? Russian origin (territorial root) who did not enjoy or no longer enjoys protection of national govt of USSR & who has not acquire any other nationality Armenian origin formerly subject of Ottoman empire ……….. Of Turkish Republic ……… 1928- civil wars, & ethnic tensions Turkish, Assyrian & Assyro-Chaldeans Definition of refugee was territorially based Characteristics of definition- ethnic not territory No specific reason for fleeing
    11. 11. Cont’d…… 1930: Convention relating to Int’l status of Refugees- Oct, 1933 1938: possessing or having possessed German nationality & not possessing any other nationality who are proved not to enjoy (in law or fact) protection of German govt Stateless persons not covered by previous convention who have left Germany Exempted people who left Germany for personal convenience
    12. 12. Cont’d….. End of WWII UN-develop a definition & means of handling refugee crises IRO- displaced persons person who has been deported from or has been obliged to leave his country of nationality or a former habitual residence as a result of Nazi or fascist regimes of similar regimes which assisted them against the UN eg people compelled to undertake forced labor or who were deported for religious, racial or political reasons victims of Falangist regimes- Spain Unaccompanied children, war orphans outside their country of orgin
    13. 13. Present Definition 1951 Geneva Convention 1967 Protocol Universal Declaration on Human Rights- 1948 Humanitarian Law
    14. 14. 1951 Geneva Convention- Definition Refers to a person who – as a result of events occurring before 1 Jan, 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality or who not having a nationality & being outside the country of his habitual residence as a result of events occurring in Europe and else where is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country’
    15. 15. 1967 Protocol- Definition Refers to a person who – ‘owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country’
    16. 16. Legal Definition Well-founded- necessity Asylum need no proof of prior persecutions for refugee status (support claim) Persecution- torture, illegal deprivation, of freedom or extrajudicial execution Canada- psychological trauma (determination)- loss of children Somalia (B. (P.V) (Re), C.R.D.D. No.12 (QL)- lost protection of her child & hence will be further unable to protect her daughter from being subjected to FGM
    17. 17. Legal Definition Economic measures Exclusion from labor market & possibility to gain an income Proof that subsistence or existenzminimum is threatened Yesidis in German not Syro-orthodox Christians- gain Istanbul
    18. 18. Weaknesses of the Convention Definition is ambiguous- interpretation and application Convention refugees Embraces only person at risk of Eurocentric forms of harm Person is a refugee only if genuinely at risk of persecution
    19. 19. Weaknesses: Regarding- ground for protection Tortured because you’re black person Vs. discriminative punishment by a brutal dictator = Consequence the same- respect of basic human rights 1991- English court of queen’s bench- refused to grant protection Togo Muslim (Alassini) -argued if he return to his country likely to be an object of human sacrifice- common among other beliefs systems who believe in human sacrifices
    20. 20. Weaknesses: Fails to recognize the claims of persons whose predicaments do not resemble those of post-WWII More attention to failed states Fails to capture- more active forms of persecution Ignores the needs of involuntary migrants who can’t link their fears to the five grounds Criterion alienates- IDP’s ethical
    21. 21. Weaknesses of the Convention USA until 1980 considered refugees to be people escaping communism – Refugee who were a product of colonialism not refugees Convention indirectly targeted Soviet Union and its communist allies Vagueness of the reasons- 5
    22. 22. Weaknesses: Persons displaced externally for reasons other than individualized persecution- Armed conflict Omission of people who have not crossed International border
    23. 23. African states Response to 1951 Convention African states became party to the Convention though the Convention failed to legally encompass refugees in Africa – African states were not therefore not under legal obligation to accord any standards of treatment of refugees in Africa
    24. 24. African states Response to 1951 Convention – The Convention also did not reflect the refugee situation in Africa – There was thus a need to come up with a legal instrument to reflect Africa reality
    25. 25. African Response to 1951 Convention The of a Convention was also prompted by increase in refugees resulting from national liberation and decolonization wars – Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau – The flow of refugees to other countries because a source of friction- Rwanda and Burundi
    26. 26. Council of African Response to 1951 Convention Ministers recommended African Refugee Convention- meeting in Addis Ababa – To avoid impairing UNHCR- the temporariness of UN Convention was removed – Sep 1969 OAU Convention was adopted and came into force 20th June 1974- hence World Refugee Day
    27. 27. OAU 1969 Refugee Convention- Definition States that Refugee: – ‘Shall apply to every person who owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or whole of his country of origin or nationality is compelled to leave his place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside his country of origin or nationality’
    28. 28. Cartagena Declaration- Definition Cartagena Declaration (South and Central America) – Places less emphasis on a fear of persecution and more on objective conditions of violence and disorder in the country of origin
    29. 29. Categories of “Refugees” Identify Categories
    30. 30. categories of Refugees Stateless persons- – Persons who are not considered nationals of any state under operational law – Victims of territorial alignment – residents of Uganda expelled by Idi Amin, – Resident had neither Uganda or British passports Convention Refugees (Official): Have protection rights to seek asylum and guarantee that they will not be repatriated Once granted asylum permanently they enjoy certain social and economic rights
    31. 31. Categories of Refugees De facto refugees- Excluded from being ad jure refugees rejected by host country on basis of Convention Normally victims of armed conflicts, erroneous economic policy and natural disasters Not protected from non-refoulement Internally Displaced Persons: People uprooted from their homes without crossing national frontiers
    32. 32. Categories of Refugees Denied refugee status protection on the requirement that an applicant be outside their country of his nationality Products of revolutions and counter revolutions – guerrilla and government forces Economic immigrants: Leave country because of poverty and financial hardship/ seek better life Do not fit in the definition of refugees
    33. 33. Categories of Refugees Urban refugees: Highly educated and qualified persons with valuable talent and skills Refugees with an urban, non-agricultural and usually educated background who take up residence in the city to live familiar environment Refugees of a rural agricultural and uneducated background who initially take up residence in a camp but move to the city Individual and small groups of asylum seekers who arrive independently in the capital cities of low income countries
    34. 34. Categories of Refugees Criminals: People who flee from justice and persons who violate the law n their own country and flee from persecution  Do not get refugees status Environmental Refugees: People who no longer gain a secure livelihood in their habitat due to drought, famine, desertification, and other environmental problems resulting from pressures of population, and poverty
    35. 35. Conclusion & Discussion What definition can be said to be ‘ethical’ and inclusive?
    36. 36. Discussion What definition can be said to be ‘ethical’? policy makers- approach to protect Definition allow continued dialogue for change of justification in which states can’t avoid accountability for their protection decisions Refugee law- protect people unable to access national protection but if one can received adequate protection of human dignity
    37. 37. Discussion What definition can be said to be ‘ethical’? Conclusion: Agree with Shacknove- it is the absence of state protection which constitutes the full & complete negtaion of society & basis of refugeehood Supreme court of Canada (1993)-Refugee law back up to the protection one expects from his own state of which he is a national