Publication Date

5-2008

Abstract

Currently there are over 12 million refugees worldwide; of this number approximately 7 million of them live in camps or segregated settlements. The practice of housing refugees in these camps and segregated settlements for long periods, often 10 or more years, has come to be known as Refugee warehousing. In 2004, the U.S. Committee of Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) launched the campaign to end refugee warehousing. The campaign works towards creating awareness and making certain that the practice of warehousing refugees is seen as morally unacceptable. This case study discusses how USCRI along with its partners around the world are carrying out the campaign to end refugee warehousing. It involves an in-depth analysis on the campaign, which includes data gathered through the websites of USCRI and other organizations involved in the campaign, personal interviews with members of national organizations who are advocating to end refugee warehousing, and articles published on the topic of Refugee warehousing. The 1951 Refugee Convention which was originally set up to address the number of displaced people in Europe after the Second World War, and which was later amended in 1967 protocol, continues to play a role in the protection of refugee rights worldwide. However, these documents which provide three “durable solutions” for refugees -- voluntary repatriation, local integration into a country of first asylum, or resettlement in a third country -- are outdated and limited, neglecting to effectively address the problems currently faced by refugees. USCRI believes that warehousing will not cease until the international community changes and adjusts to a different perspective. This perspective will involve updating the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol to reflect present day realities affecting refugees worldwide. To ensure this change in policy, coalitions involving national host governments, national donor governments, international organizations, refugee advocates, refugees themselves and local NGO’s need to work together.

Disciplines

Other Legal Studies | Political Science

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