Standard readmission agreements and refugee rights: from a critique to a proposal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Against the backdrop of the bilateral cooperation on migration control between individual European Union Member States and third countries, this article examines whether the implementation of readmission agreements hampers access to protection for asylum-seekers subjected to a return procedure. It concludes that no issue of incompatibility with refugee and human rights law seems to stem from the text of readmission agreements – administrative tools used to articulate the procedures for a smooth return of irregular migrants and rejected refugees to countries of origin or transit. Nonetheless, instances of informal practices of border control, especially in situations of emergency and mass influxes demonstrate how the existence of a readmission agreement may boost the use of swift and accelerated identification and return procedures in dissonance with international human rights and refugee law.
As readmission agreements do not generally include separate provisions on refugees, a real risk exists of removing asylum-seekers, as unauthorised migrants, to allegedly “safe third countries”. The paper hails, therefore, as an added value, the insertion of both non-affection clauses and procedural human rights clauses creating extra safeguards for removable asylum-seekers. To this end, a number of concrete proposals of draft provisions are put forward as a platform for further discussion among legal scholars and policy-makers.

Details

Authors
  • Mariagiulia Giuffré
External organisations
  • University of Trento
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law

Keywords

  • safe third country, readmission agreements, refugee rights, non-affection clauses, human rights
Original languageEnglish
JournalRefugee Survey Quarterly
Volume32
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes