Every year, millions of people are seeking protection from countries other than their own for fear of being tortured, persecuted or killed. Finding protection is not easy. States are closely guarding their borders, making it difficult for aliens to seek and enjoy protection from serious harm. No matter where they are or why they flee, people seeking international protection are vulnerable and insecure; in dire need of knowing, understanding and receiving their rights. This book explores the basic right of every forcibly displaced person to be protected from refoulement. The prohibition of refoulement is the cornerstone of international refugee and asylum law and aims to provide protection to people at risk of persecution, torture, inhuman treatment or other human rights violations upon return to their own country. This book provides a comprehensive legal analysis of prohibitions of refoulement contained in four human rights treaties: the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture. The emphasis of the analysis is on the international meaning of the prohibitions of refoulement and on the responsibilities of States deriving from these prohibitions. The four treaties are analysed in separate chapters. The final chapter compares the prohibitions of refoulement contained in the four investigated treaties. This book will be an important resource for legal scholars, students and practitioners working with asylum seekers and refugees throughout the world. It is also a reminder for States, which have obliged themselves to protect people from becoming victims of unspeakable atrocities.
Kees Wouters has worked with and for refugees and asylum seekers in a variety of countries and settings, ranging from working as a legal officer at the Refugee Department of the Dutch section of Amnesty International to working as a consultant / legal officer for the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions in Asia. The research for this book was conducted at the Institute of Immigration Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. This book is associated to the series of the E.M. Meijers Institute of Legal Studies, Leiden Law School, Leiden University, the Netherlands.
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