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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

This chapter looks at the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). It examines the Dublin system of allocating responsibility for unauthorised asylum seekers to the European Union country in which they first arrive; the harmonisation of the definition of a refugee and beneficiaries of protection for those in refugee-like situations (subsidiary protection), the procedures for determining refugee status and the reception conditions for asylum seekers (eg rights with respect to accommodation); efforts to share responsibility for refugees within the EU, such as the efforts to relocate asylum seekers; and the ‘external dimension’, including efforts to resettle refugees from third countries, and regional protection programmes that seek to improve protection in countries within the region of the refugee flow. The chapter documents the different forms of regionalism evident in the tension between individual EU member states’ desire to deter refugees and practices and proposals for reform that focus on sharing responsibility.
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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

One of the first major multilateral arrangements to address refugee situations within a regional context was the 1989 Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees (CPA). This arrangement built on a 1979 arrangement conceived following the end of the war in Vietnam to address the mass displacement of people in the region. Under the CPA, countries of first asylum in the region, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong, agreed to give temporary protection to Vietnamese and Laotians arriving in their territory so long as states from outside the region committed to resettle large numbers of these refugees. This chapter examines the successes and limitations of this arrangement, and explores the conception of regionalism reflected in this arrangement which sought to shift responsibility for refugees from the region to the developed world.
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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

This chapter examines the 1989 International Conference on Central American Refugees (CIREFCA). CIREFCA aimed to provide durable solutions for over two million refugees and other displaced persons in the Central American region. Formed in response to the displacement caused by civil wars and economic crises, and as part of a broader peace process in the region, the arrangement aimed to provide support to a mix of migrant groups: refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons and, uniquely, ‘externally displaced persons’. This chapter explores the extent to which this arrangement led to short and long term protection dividends for these groups in the region, and how regionalism was manifested in the arrangement.
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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

In comparison to other regions in the world, such as South East Asia and the Middle East, Africa has a strong legal commitment to the protection of refugees. In 1969, the OAU (now the African Union) developed a definition of refugeehood that expanded the definition of a refugee to include those fleeing generalized violence. Since then, African countries have committed to the primary responsibility of hosting refugees, albeit with questionable implementation. This chapter examines a major set of arrangements developed for sharing responsibility for refugees in Africa, namely the International Conferences on Assistance to Refugees in Africa. ICARA I and II took place in the early 1980s and focused on obtaining extra-regional funding from the international community to support the protection of large-scale intra-regional refugee and returnee populations within Africa. The regionalism evident in this arrangement was arguably primarily about inter-African solidarity and containment and the arrangements are notable for their failure to fully achieve the goal of improved refugee protection.
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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

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Penelope Mathew and Tristan Harley

This concluding chapter begins by examining whether the regional arrangements discussed in the book have provided good protection outcomes for refugees; the ways the arrangements have shared responsibility among states; and the different forms of regionalism that the arrangements have developed. The chapter then looks at some of the tools that have been utilized in the arrangements that could be implemented by governments in the future to bring about better protection for refugees and more equitable sharing among states.
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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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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.