This volume explores the factors that give rise to the number of people seeking asylum and examines the barriers they currently and will continue to face. Divided into three parts, the authors first explore the causality that generates displacement, examining climate change, illegal conflicts and the deprivation of natural resources. They argue that all of these problems either originate from human agency directly, or are strongly influenced by human activities, particularly those of wealthy countries in the North West. The study goes on to discuss how migrants are received and the problems they face on arrival, and concludes with confronting the fate and the status of asylum seekers after arrival, and the walls, both virtual and material, that they encounter. The authors propose ways of approaching the situation, beyond the present language and the limited interpretations of the Convention on the Status of Refugees. Written by leading experts in environmental ethics, asylum law, and international law, the book will be essential reading for those working in these and related areas.
Laura Westra is Professor Emerita at Windsor University, Canada, where she teaches international environmental law. She also teaches at the University of Milano (Bicocca) and the University of Trento (Italy). She is the author of over 85 articles and 31 books on environmental and human rights law, ethics and global justice. Satvinder Singh Juss Ph.D FRSA, is professor of law at King’s College London, UK, a Barrister-at-Law of Gray’s Inn, London, UK, and a former Human Rights Fellow at Harvard Law School, Massachusetts, USA. He specialises in human rights, public law, comparative constitutional law and international refugee law. He has published widely on the subjects of migration and human rights law. Professor Juss is fluent in Urdu and Swahili. Tullio Scovazzi is professor of international law at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. He occasionally is the legal expert of Italy in negotiations and meetings relating to international law of the sea, cultural properties, and human rights.
’The ever-increasing number of displaced people and the growing resistance of states to grant them asylum is an unfolding human tragedy of the highest order. The plight of millions of people raises fundamental questions about state sovereignty, citizenship and human rights. This book offers thorough analysis and practical solutions. Written by eminent scholars, a convincing case is made for legal reforms based on human rights and global responsibilities.’ Klaus Bosselmann, University of Auckland, New Zealand ’This very timely book dares to ask the hard questions about causes and conditions of mass migrations that potential receiving states, through their politicians, refuse to confront. The authors probe the increasingly serious problems faced by spiralling numbers of refugees, displaced persons or asylum seekers produced by trafficking, climate change, wars, or terrorism, and the woefully inadequate laws available to protect them or give them refuge. The authors examine the principles underlying policies of closed borders and exclusion, challenging the cynicism of border imperialism and arbitrary treatment of asylum seekers by those who simultaneously espouse fidelity to principles of human rights and humanitarian law. They make concrete suggestions, from re-defining refugee to include a far broader range of migrants, to re-configuring international refugee law to be as much a compensatory scheme as a human rights one based on the fundamental legal principle that those who cause harm to others through their deliberate or negligent acts must pay for them. This book is a voice for reform, for moral and ethical leadership and for states to take responsibility for their role in causing the unbearable conditions leading to mass movements of the most vulnerable and destitute people in the world. Anyone interested in this most critical issue of our time, should read this book.’ Kathleen Mahoney QC, FRSC, University of Calgary, Canada