The Institutional Approach to Migration

Via the Economist

Via the Economist

“Strangers in strange lands,” from the Economist:

IN 1951 a group of diplomats in Geneva committed their countries to absorbing huge numbers of refugees from a region plagued by ethnic hatred, fanatical ideologies, and seemingly interminable war: Europe. The second world war left millions of people wandering across the ravaged continent. Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union deported 14m Germans in the years after Germany’s defeat. Redrawn borders saw millions of Ukrainians, Serbs and others kicked out of their homes. Six years on, 400,000 people were stranded in “displaced persons” camps with no clear prospect of resettlement.

The UN-mandated Geneva conference came up with a convention that required its signatories to assess claims to refugee status made by anyone in their territory, and to grant it whenever a refugee had a “well-founded fear of being persecuted” in his or her country of origin. To begin with the right of asylum was limited to Europeans, but this limitation was removed when a new protocol gave the convention global scope in 1967. The Refugee Convention has now been ratified by 147 countries; over 64 years it has framed the international response to humanitarian crises around the world (see chart 1)…

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