Rethinking refugee protection

The international refugee regime holds the protection of refugees at its core. This is also reflected in the legal mandate of the UN Refugee Agency. Yet policies meant to protect refugees commonly fall short, states often avoid taking in and thus protecting refugees, and the notion of protection itself is not always easily defined. Responsibility-sharing is a core theme as states navigate sovereignty, political backlash, and human rights obligations regionally and globally. Some of the questions addressed here include: How can so-called humanitarian programmes better protect refugees? Are EU asylum policies in reality policies of containment? What risks exist in ongoing protective policies towards refugees, and how can they be addressed? Where does the notion of protection stem from, and why does this matter for refugee assistance?