Journal article

Publication details

Displaced: A Proposal for an International Agreement to Protect Refugees, Migrants, and States
in journal: Berkeley Journal of International Law

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Release year: 2017
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Author(s) details

Jill Goldenziel

Publication description

Link to the publication on the Publisher’s catalogue
migrants, Refugees
This article proposes and sketches a new international agreement to address the crucial human rights and international security issues posed by mass migration. Currently, the human rights of people fleeing violence are largely unprotected by international law. The 1951 Refugee Convention protects only refugees: those fleeing across borders due to a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The world’s other 46.3 million people displaced by violence have few international legal protections. I argue that an international agreement that creates an additional category of people who receive international protections, whom I call “Displaced Persons,” is necessary to foster human rights, further state interests, and improve international security. A new Displaced Persons Convention would provide the strongest legal protections for individuals fleeing violence and states alike. If this proves impossible, second best would be a nonbinding or partially binding international agreement, which could also shape state practices and international norms. An agreement to protect Displaced Persons would supplement, not supplant the 1951 Refugee Convention, which provides critical protections for minorities and political dissidents that must not be diluted. Policymakers should consider the provisions discussed in this article as they prepare the UN Global Compact on Migration and similar agreements.