PhD researcher or student information
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to website with profile: https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Natasha-Yacoub/1467929629
Degrees BA: BA (Hons), LLB
PhD Research Information
Brief description:Fleeing persecution by sea carries significant risks, and for women and girls there are often the additional dangers of sexual and gender based violence. During the 2015 Andaman Sea crisis, for example, many of the 5,000 individuals from Myanmar and Bangladesh trapped at sea for months were women and girls. In addition to the starvation, disease, risk of drowning and beatings by crew, they faced additional threats of sexual violence. This issue is even more urgent today, as two-thirds of the approximately 400,000 refugees who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in September 2017 are estimated to be women and girls. The issue is not new; indeed the collective failure of States to protect refugees, including those fleeing by sea, was one of the motivations for establishing the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees following World War Two. Despite the grave consequences of sexual and gender violence, demonstrated throughout time, protection under international law remains insufficient. The thesis will address whether the gaps in international law to protect women can be addressed through enhanced regional cooperation by States.
Methodology:The thesis will combine a normative analysis of international law with qualitative research with the subjects of this law. First, the thesis will critically examine the international law applicable to refugees at sea and the regional instruments incorporating this law. Thereafter, interviews with refugee women and girls will examine how the law applies in practice and how it can be improved. The empirical research will be used to draw conclusions on whether regional cooperation by States can improve the rights of women and girls fleeing by sea in Asia. Interviews with women and girls will demonstrate the causes and consequences of the risks faced by women and girls fleeing by sea in Asia, exploring the perspectives of individuals who have lived this experience and can describe the changes that are required to enhance their protection. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with Rohingya women in Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia - pending ethics approval.
Keywords: women and girls, sexual violence, rohingya, Refugee, non-refoulement, law of the sea, international refugee law, international law, Convention on the Rights of the Child, cedaw, asia region, asia human rights declaration, andaman sea crisis
Language(s) of writing: English
university of new south wales
college of law