Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
  • Dynamics of conflict and displacement in Papua, Indonesia

    12 December 2013

    This document presents a collection of papers developed in preparation for a one-day workshop held under the auspices of the Refugee Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford on 26 October 2006. This was the fourth in a series of RSC workshops to focus on conflict, violence and displacement in Southeast Asia organized at Oxford by Dr Eva-Lotta Hedman (Senior Research Fellow). Like previous such workshops, which examined issues of conflict and displacements in Aceh under martial law, southern Philippines and south Thailand, and Burma, the day of analysis devoted to Papua brought together perspectives and expertise from among a range of institutional contexts, including academic and advocacy, practitioner and policy.

  • Return in dignity: a neglected protection challenge

    12 December 2013

    This paper examines how the concept of return in ‘safety and dignity’ emerged and has been applied to processes of refugee return. In doing so, it highlights incongruities about the meaning of return in practice, particularly in terms of dignity. Moreover, it identifies key components of the notion of dignity that should figure centrally in internationally-supported repatriation processes, namely, the principle of refugee choice and the need to redress the injustices that cause and characterise displacement. This paper suggests that pinning down a narrow institutional definition of dignity would not necessarily serve the interests of returnees. However, it argues that the concept of dignified return merits greater debate amongst policy makers, scholars, refugee advocates and displaced communities to make it a sharper protection tool.

  • Burma: the changing nature of displacement crises

    12 December 2013

    The shifting nature of conflict in Burma over the past fifteen years has structured a range of inter-linked displacement crises. This paper identifies three main types of forced migration within and from the country: armed conflict-induced displacement, state/society-induced displacement, and livelihood/vulnerability-induced displacement. This paper argues that internal displacement in Burma is the product not only of armed conflict in the insurgent-prone eastern borderlands, but also of decades of mis-governance by the militarized state.

  • Conceptualising interconnections in global governance: the case of refugee protection

    12 December 2013

    The way in which issue-areas are interconnected is an important factor in explaining political outcomes at the global level. However, the existing literature on interconnections is inadequate for understanding the role that they play in world politics. This paper sets out a new conceptual framework for understanding interconnections based on a structure-agency approach. It develops two main concepts: embeddedness and linkages, and explores the relationship between the two. It suggests that the embeddedness of issue-areas can be understood through the lens of four principal concepts: regimes, organisations, ideas, and identity. It argues that the ways in which an issue-area is embedded in turn enable and constrain the possibilities for actors to use issue-linkage within bargaining. It suggests that because the way in which issue-areas are embedded may differentially empower different actors, embeddedness can confer a form of institutional or structural power that may either reinforce or offset other forms of relational power in negotiations between actors.

  • The politics of extraterritorial processing: offshore asylum policies in Europe and the Pacific

    12 December 2013

    This paper seeks to develop a social and political understanding of extraterritorial asylum policies through an examination of European and Australian cases. In particular, it asks: Why did extraterritorial asylum policies in the UK and Australia rise to prominence in the early 2000s? And what are the political conditions under which extraterritorial asylum policies may take place? To this end, this paper examines the broader political context in which extraterritorial asylum policies emerged, focusing particularly on the drastic geopolitical changes of the 1990s; and considers the notion that the growing ‘culture of human rights’ may paradoxically have contributed to the elaboration of extraterritorial asylum policies in liberal democratic states. By comparing and contrasting the European and Australian experiences of offshore processing, this paper reflects upon the political circumstances that make offshore asylum policies possible and viable as well as ways in which such policies may develop in the future.

  • Protection against torture in Western security frameworks: the erosion of non-refoulement in the UK-Libya MOU

    12 December 2013

    In 2005, the United Kingdom (UK) signed Memoranda of Understanding with Libya, Jordan and Lebanon. These memoranda allow the signatory nations to return individuals who are considered threats to the public safety of the host country, to their country of origin. This paper will show that the memoranda are both an extension of the UK’s security-focused migration policies and in conflict with the UK’s human rights obligations. First, it will be argued that the memoranda represent an effort by the UK, pre-dating and accelerated by the September 11th attacks, to frame migration policy control as a national security goal. Second, it will be argued that the non-binding nature of the memoranda and their lack of mechanisms for implementation and legal redress could negatively impact the principle of non-refoulement to torture.

  • Asylum and childhood in the UK: a highly political relationship

    12 December 2013

    This paper aims to understand the reason why negotiation of the relationship between asylum policy and the well-being of asylum-seeking children has been particularly challenging in recent years. Its objective is to comprehend the nature and the implications of the relationship between childhood and asylum in the UK. It specifically investigates the theoretical, political and rhetorical frameworks applying to asylum-seeking children within families (‘accompanied’ children). It focuses on the actors involved in making, influencing and implementing policy: especially the Government, Members of Parliament, civil-society organisations, civil servants and, at the margin, the media. This paper argues that the controversy over asylum-seeking children does not result from a diverging understanding of childhood between the state and its opponents. Instead, divergence arises in relation to the consideration given to adult asylum-seekers and the standards set for the entire asylum system.

  • The use of diplomatic assurances in the prevention of prohibited treatment

    12 December 2013

    If most receiving States are already bound by a prohibition of torture by treaty law as well as international customary law of jus cogens quality, what is the added value of a diplomatic assurance? This paper argues that the assurance may add a layer of bilateral obligation to the multilateral obligation erga omnes. It is not inherently more or less binding than universal obligations; the difference lies in available enforcement options. Within the framework of diplomatic assurance, sending States can dictate conditions of monitoring and enforcement that do not follow from existing obligations. This determines whether there is an added value and whether in the individual case an assurance can cancel a risk of prohibited treatment. By elevating an individual case to the diplomatic level, it gains significance. By the same move, however, it becomes vulnerable to the exigencies of foreign relations.

  • Resolving the liberal paradox: Citizen rights and alien rights in the UK

    12 December 2013

    The liberal paradox has been instrumental in shaping the exclusionary provisions of municipal asylum law and policy. It refers to the theoretical contradictions between state sovereignty and human rights commitments, which become expressed in the paradoxical asylum procedures of liberal democracies. This paper attempts to weaken the paradox on several grounds. I will argue that there is no necessary tension between democracy and liberalism in the context of asylum; that the state’s sovereign right to control entry is quite compatible with its obligation to protect aliens within its territory; and that British asylum policy is quite consistent and does not manifest the existence of the liberal paradox. The implications of undermining this paradox could be that governments might consider revising their restrictive schemes to accommodate the needs of forced migrants.

  • Research with children living in situations of armed conflict: concepts, ethics and methods

    12 December 2013

    The production of this paper has been motivated by the conviction that participatory research with children in armed conflict settings is valuable because of the emergency context. Such an approach is likely to yield richer and more detailed data than a conventional, adult-led approach. These data can be invaluable to the design of interventions. Moreover, engagement in well-planned research activities can offer direct benefits for young participants by enhancing their skills and awareness. In settings of conflict where the young may be required to play an expanded role in their own protection and in the care of others, their personal development is especially important. Our aim here is to equip researchers to most safely and profitably pursue participatory research with children and, to that end,we explore the specific conceptual, ethical and methodological issues concerned.