Refugees, Rights, and Human Security
AbstractThis essay explores the connection between discourses of membership, and refugee and human rights law. The argument is that state practice is often anchored in conceptions of democracy that refugee advocates must challenge at a fundamental level. I am particularly interested in the idea of human security. In addition, it is suggested that although human rights law has an essential role to play, we should not neglect the importance of refugee law as a status-granting mechanism. In the end, specific problems in refugee law call for progressive reform. For example, the essay calls for serious engagement with the idea of international or regional regulatory mechanisms to monitor state practice in this area. Many of the ideas applied in domestic contexts, such as the Canadian, come from international discussions. These discussions are often removed from effective participation. If states now function—and construct policy—at this level, then why should we not strongly advocate the creation of systems of accountability that operate at this level also?
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