Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Ben Saul
Chapter 28: Terrorism and migration law
What is the relationship between terrorism and migration? Does it exist primarily in law, national and international, or does it find its basis elsewhere? These are the central questions of this chapter. The point of departure to find the nexus between terrorism and migration must be to inquire into what we know about both. There is no public UN database of statistics on terrorism. While some efforts have been made to establish reliable databases on terrorism activities, none of them appears to have withstood the test of time or independence. Thus it is rather difficult to make any reliable statement on the incidence of terrorism internationally. As Saul has cogently argued, even the definition of terrorism in international law is something of a moveable feast characterized by a substantial degree of internal incoherence. In contrast, it is fairly easy to find statistical data on migration. The UN Statistics Division collects statistics on international migration flows and on the stock of migrant population through the Demographic Yearbook data collection system. Further, the UN site advises that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) collects and compiles international labour migration statistics. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) collects and compiles data on asylum seekers and refugees. The UN Population Division prepares estimates of migrant stock for each country.
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