Refugees, Regionalism and Responsibility
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Refugees, Regionalism and Responsibility

Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

Regional cooperation is sometimes seen as the answer to refugee movements. This book examines whether regional arrangements have resulted in protection and durable solutions for refugees and how responsibility for refugees has been shared at the regional level. Posing critical questions about responsibility-sharing and regionalism, the book is a timely contribution on an issue garnering increasing attention as a result of maritime arrivals in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia.
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Chapter 8: The Mexico Declaration and Plan of Action and Cartagena+

Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley


Since the implementation of the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, the Latin American region has been characterised by a strong legal commitment to asylum, as well as a strong symbolic commitment to solidarity among states within the region. This chapter explores the development of two regional initiatives that have sought to build on the legacy of the Cartagena Declaration, leading to the terminology ‘Cartagena plus’. These two initiatives are the 2004 Mexico Declaration and Plan of Action and the 2014 Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action. The chapter examines key features of these arrangements based on solidarity among the states of the Americas and with refugees, such as the borders of solidarity, the cities of solidarity and resettlement in solidarity. The chapter concludes by comparing the regionalism evinced by the Cartagena plus process, which is about solidarity and openness to refugees, particularly those refugees within the region, with the regionalism manifesting in other parts of the world.

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