In recent decades, asylum has emerged as a highly politicized European issue. The term ’asylum seeker’ has suffered a negative perception and has been associated with notions of illegality and criminality in mainstream media. These misconceptions have been supported by politicians as a distraction from economic and political uncertainties with the result that asylum seekers have been deprived of significant rights. This book examines the effect of recent attempts of harmonization on the identification and protection of refugees. It considers the extent of obligations on the state to admit and protect refugees and examines the 1951 Refugee Convention. The motivations of European legislators and legislation concerning asylum procedures and reception conditions are also analysed. Proposals and initiatives for refugee movements and determinations are examined and assessed. The author makes suggestions for better protection of refugees while responding to the security concerns of States, and questions whether European law and policy is doing enough to uphold the fundamental right to seek and enjoy asylum as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This book takes a bold look at a controversial issue and generates discussion for those involved in the fields of human rights, migrational and transnational studies, law and society and international law.
Helen O'Nions is a senior lecturer in law at Nottingham Trent University with a keen interest in minorities, exclusion and human rights. She has published widely on asylum policy, minority rights and the Roma.
'O’Nions provides not only a very clear and complete analysis of the legal problems related to refugee protection within the Common European Asylum System, but also addresses the more general context of migration and citizenship in Europe.' Marco Odello, Aberystwyth University, UK 'Helen O’Nions’ monograph places the complex framework of Europe’s asylum policy in the context of the international refugee protection regime and, simultaneously, it addresses the effective operationalization of that policy. She brings clarity to the interaction between immigration control measures and overarching obligations to provide refuge to those seeking asylum.' Geoff Gilbert, University of Essex, UK 'This book is a thorough and incisive account of the flaws in the EU's Common European Asylum System, and is a must-read for anyone interested in the fate of refugees within the European Union.' Steve Peers, University of Essex, UK 'This book constitutes an invaluable and enriching contribution to the literature on EU asylum law and policy capturing the dynamics and complexities of the evolving landscape of the Common European Asylum System. O'Nions deepens our understanding of the difficulties encountered in giving concrete meaning to the right of asylum and the problems concerning its full protection in practice.' Samantha Velluti, University of Lincoln, UK ’This book makes a powerful argument that our present laws and structures actually undermine asylum rather than creating sanctuary. Grounded in an impressive breadth of scholarly research, the book is also highly readable, and offers a lively critique of the EU asylum system as well as a clarion call to a more effective system of protection. O'Nions weaves together carefully chosen detail from EU member states and institutions in service of the wider perspective which she develops. Her perspective is an important contribution to the effort to separate asylum from immigration control and the terrorism agenda, and she