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Syrian Refugee Crisis: Asylum

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Madeline Kennedy

on 29 March 2015

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Transcript of Syrian Refugee Crisis: Asylum

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Asylum
Background on Refugees and Asylum
Syrian Conflict
International Laws around Asylum and Refugees
Issues Surrounding Asylum
Syrian Crisis: Issues Faced and Possible Solutions
Specific Recommendations
Refugee: “refugees are, in essence, persons whose basic needs are unprotected by their country of origin, who have no remaining recourse other than to seek international restitution of their needs, and who are so situated that international assistance is possible” (Shaknove 1985).

Asylum seeker: essentially refugees whose claims for refugee status have not yet been determined.
Background on Refugees and Asylum
International Laws around Asylum and Refugees

Asylum providers face many burdens and
maintaining sovereign right to control admission of asylum is crucial.
Burdens reflected through the:
Issues Surrounding Asylum
Syrian Religious Groups
Christians, Sunni’s, Alawites
Assad Regime
War with Israel
Lebanese Civil War
Civil War in Syria
ISIS, ISIL, and the Islamic State

The Syrian Crisis: Issues Faced and Possible Solutions
Syrian Conflict
1951 UNHCR

“A refugee is someone who: has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his / her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Is outside his/her country of origin, and is unable or unwilling to avail his/ her self of the protection of threat country or to return there for fear of persecution.”
1967 Protocol
Removal of the time and geographical restraints on the 1951 Conventions
OAU 1969
Organization for African Unity Introduced addition to the definition of refugee.
A refugee is someone who was compelled to leave their Country of origin because of “external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or the whole of his country of origin or nationality”.

It drops the need to be fearful of direct prosecutions.
Members of OAU
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
1984 The Cartagena Declaration
A Refugee is someone who has fled their country “because their lives, safety or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order”.

Not legally binding but has been adopted by many countries in national definitions.
Countries that provide asylum do it often, because of:
1. moral pressure (Internationally and internally)
2. geography
1. economy
2. society
3. national security
Countries with appropriate capacity to provide asylum are often pressured through moral grounds to increase its assistance.

Such pressure comes from the media and the international community.

Ex. Canada - accepted 10,000 asylum seekers (Wagner, 2014)
Europe - 41,000 of Syrian refugees (Fagues, 2014)
Moral Pressure
Geographical Burdens
States of first asylum vs. States of second asylum
Often depends on proximity

Turkey is mainly a country of first asylum
Countries distant from the conflict tend to be second asylum.
Providing asylum is problematic when...
Asylum seekers lack proper identification and travel documents.
creates national security issues
asylum seekers are not always refugees
requires funds
Australia spends over $1 billion dealing with illegal asylum seekers arriving solely by boats (Right Now, 2013).
England spends approximately $1.5 billion on invited refugees (Govt. of UK, n.d.).
The question of accountability and international responsibility must be answered
Success of the refugee protection regime rests upon cooperation and burden sharing among participatory states
Currently disproportionate pressure on states of geographic proximity. Ex: Syrian Crisis
Criteria for providing asylum should be increasingly based upon financial means, capability, and international responsibility
Material relief
Permanent resettlement
Rights to remain and to return
The principle of non-recoupment,
Right of first asylum

Benefits of being declared a refugee:
History & Modern Syria by the Numbers
East to west, then south to north
Today in Syria:
9 million Syrian refugees. 6.5 are internally displaced . 3,746,537 registered Syrian refugees. 2.2 million in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. 1.6 million in Turkey. 24,055 in North Africa. Around 80,215 asylum seekers awaiting registration . 150,000 in the European Union. Other UN member states have pledged to resettle 33,000 Syrians (most going to Germany).
(Syrian Refugees, 2014).
Research Methodology
Central Issues to the Syrian Crisis
International enforcement
Disproportionate burden placed upon countries of first asylum rather than second asylum
Nations must look to the 1951 Convention for guidance on how to uphold the rights of refugees
2014 was witness to 48,400 asylum claims from individuals originating from Syria
Discouragement of pushbacks and rejections of Syrians in search of Asylum
Nations of substantial wealth and capability must increase their willingness to accept and protect
Combined historical analysis with current events and forecast for the future
Divided it into five sections as described in the outline for each expert, and individually researched our topics
Specific Recommendations
1. Host an international summit of diplomats that have the ability to map out a legally binding strategy to address asylum within the context of Syria.
2. Strategy based off of:
Moral ethical responsibility
3. Integrating similarly legally binding policies into the UN Convention to address future issues around asylum seekers.
4. Enforced via economic sanctions, moral obligations, and international pressure.
Full transcript