The Experts Initiative on the Global Compact on Refugees: Conclusions and Explanatory Note

Last month the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School convened a meeting of experts on refugee law and policy to deliberate on, and to make concrete recommendations for, the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). You can find the Conclusions and an Explanatory Note here.

Responsibility-sharing and mobility: two ideas for the second consultation on the Global Compact on Refugees

UNHCR's consultations on the Global Compact on Refugees are well underway. I am sharing below a copy of a statement I submitted for the October 17 Thematic Discussion, which included a panel discussion on "how can we support States to receive large numbers of refugees in a safe and dignified manner." I would invite and welcome (1) comments on the proposals for a Global Action Platform for Displaced Persons and enhanced mobility for refugees, and (2) other submissions, ideas, etc for the Consultations and Compact. UNHCR appears genuinely interested in innovative strategies and ideas, and it behooves the academic and policy communities to respond with realistic proposals that materially advance reform of the international refugee regime while remaining within the scope of the GCR.

Spain’s summary returns to Morocco violate the European Convention on Human Rights

On 3 October 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously against Spain in N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, stating that the country had violated the prohibition of collective expulsion (Article 4 of Protocol No.4) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).[1] The judgment was issued by the Chamber (first instance) and therefore, is open to appeal to the Grand Chamber, during the three-month period following its delivery.

Should refugee camps be “smart cities”?

Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President for Government and Development at Mastercard, has published an interesting short piece on the World Economic Forum websiteShe joins the current new thinking supporting refugee self-reliance that benefits both refugees and hosting communities.  In Nathan’s words: “A new model must create communities in which the forcibly displaced can become self-sufficient faster and can contribute to the economic growth of their host communities.”

Refugee EO Update: The Supreme Court Hands Each Side a Partial Victory

The Supreme Court issued an order yesterday regarding President Trump’s revised Refugee Executive Order (EO) that provided comfort to both the Administration and Hawaii, which has challenged the EO. The Court left in place the portion of Hawaii U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s injunction barring application of the EO to foreign nationals abroad with U.S. relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The legal battle over refugee admissions

The State Department has issued guidance regarding the admission of refugees following the Supreme Court's decision in the Trump Executive Order cases. The guidance includes the narrow interpretation of "bona fide relationship with a person" adopted for the visa ban provision (fiancés are in; grandparents are out).

What does the Supreme Court’s decision on the Trump Executive Order mean for refugees?

 The commentary on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Trump Executive Orders has largely focused on the part of the Orders that imposed the travel ban on six predominantly Muslim countries.  Less noticed has been the paragraphs at the end of the decision that discuss the Orders’ suspension of the refugee program.

It’s All About that Stay (and Its Surprising Limits)

Here's a thoughtful take from Marty Lederman on the Supreme Court's decision today on the Trump Executive Orders. We will have a post soon on the implications of the decision for the refugee program.

Focus on Refugee Skills to Move Beyond Arguments About Resettlement

In a June 12 speech to governments and NGOs at UNHCR’s annual consultations on refugee resettlement in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi made a passionate plea for additional resettlement pledges from participating nations. He will likely be disappointed.

Trump Tweets on his Travel Ban–what does DOJ do now?

President Trump's tweets this morning are truly remarkable and must be giving fits to Department of Justice attorneys--not to mention his Press Secretary and Cabinet Secretaries who have repeatedly asserted that the Executive Orders do not constitute a "ban."