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The challenges faced by refugees fleeing from armed conflicts can only be understood holistically. Hence, this research sheds light on the multifaceted interactions between humanitarian law, refugee law, criminal law and human rights law.

Global Migration Centre

Armed Conflict and Forced Migration Project

About the project

Armed conflicts are generally considered as the main cause of forced migration. However, the applicable international legal framework is plagued by recurrent ambiguities and controversies. Norms and instruments governing refugee protection in times of war are indeed scattered among four branches of international law: humanitarian law, refugee law, criminal law and human rights law. Their concurrent applicability is arguably both the solution and the problem to the plight of war refugees. On the one hand, the great variety of applicable instruments reflects the diverse dimensions of forced migration and its cross-cutting character. On the other hand, such a fragmentation undermines the understanding and cogent application of the existing legal norms.    

The Research Project sheds lights on the multifaceted interactions between international humanitarian law, refugee law, criminal law and human rights law. While none of these branches can offer a definitive answer to the contemporary challenges faced by refugees in and fleeing from armed conflicts, the reach of the protection that they offer can only be understood through a comparative assessment. The Research Project thus investigates their mutual influence with the aim of providing a holistic approach to refugee protection.

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