Ongoing and concluded PhDs

PhD researcher or student information

Shepherd Mutsvara

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Discipline: Law

Degrees BA: Ll.B (Unisa)


LL.M (London)

PhD Research Information

Economic refugees: An analysis of persecution and displacement in the new global era

Brief description:

The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees does not accord protection to a new class of refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa who are a direct result of globalization. The imposition of neoliberal policies on the poor countries in Sub-Saharan Africa has resulted in substantial economic infirmities directly debasing one’s liberty, dignity, and right to life. Such economic adjustments accompanied by economic sanctions have been war by any other means. These blanket economic prescriptions have misread Sub-Saharan Africa’s fiscal landscape by assuming that the region has the same economic problems. In fact, the major source of livelihood in Africa, as was during colonialism, is agriculture and mining which is the mainstay of the international market. This has resulted in an unprecedented human flight to the industrialized Global North as political contestation over meagre resources has caused severe economic deprivation. Therefore, this study argues that economic liberalization has become a serious form of economic persecution which International Law should take into consideration in the adjudication of asylum claims for non de facto refugees. Finally, the study appraises the role of International Law in perpetuating the neoliberal agenda of economic liberalization and how it has shaped displacement in Sub-Saharan Africa


Keywords: 1951 convention, economic refugees, Globalisation, persecution, economic liberalization

Language(s) of writing: English

Country: Poland

Home University:

Pedagogical University, Krakow.


Institute of Political Sciences and Adminstration

Supervisor: Joanna Bar
Start date: 01-10-2019
(Expected) date of completion 30-09-2023
PhD current status: PhD Ongoing
PhD research funded by: Republic of Poland (Doctoral Scholarship)
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Added to catalogue on: 14-01-2020

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