Global Migration Centre

The Arc of Protection: Reforming the International Refugee Regime

Prof. T. Alexander Aleinikoff
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Auditorium A2, Maison de la paix

This lecture will be based on T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore's recently published book: The Arc of Protection, reforming the International Refugee Regime, Stanford University Press, 2019.

Alexander Aleinikoff is University Professor and Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School in New York City. He has served as former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.  He has also worked with the US on issues of development, asylum and refugees.

The international refugee regime is fundamentally broken. Designed in the wake of World War II to provide protection and assistance, the system is unable to address the record numbers of persons displaced by conflict and violence today. States have put up fences and adopted policies to deny, deter, and detain asylum seekers. People recognized as refugees are routinely denied rights guaranteed by international law. The results are dismal for the millions of refugees around the world who are left with slender prospects to rebuild their lives or contribute to host communities. T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore lay bare the underlying global crisis of responsibility.

The Arc of Protection adopts a revisionist and critical perspective that examines the original premises of the international refugee regime. Aleinikoff and Zamore identify compromises at the founding of the system that attempted to balance humanitarian ideals with developmental aims and sovereign control of their borders by states. This book offers a way out of the current international morass through refocusing on responsibility-sharing, seeing the humanitarian-development divide in a new light, and putting refugee rights front and center.



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