Alternative pathways to protection

Description

The ability of asylum seekers to safely access protection is a critical issue for the international community. Faced with visa restrictions and other border controls, asylum seekers may be forced to take unauthorised and risky journeys across international borders. In response to this challenge, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Migration emphasised in 2017 that ‘our goal must be to offer alternatives’ to dangerous routes.  This project examines some of these alternatives, offering potential additional pathways to protection intended to enhance – and not replace - access to asylum. 

Project Team

  • Claire Higgins (Project Director)
  • Khanh Hoang

Research Summaries

  • Protected entry procedures (Claire Higgins)
    Protected entry procedures, sometimes known as 'in-country processing' or 'orderly departure’, are visa pathways that authorise asylum seekers to travel safely from their countries of origin or countries of transit across international borders to claim protection abroad. This research examines the historical and contemporary use of these procedures by governments in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. It will shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of these procedures and investigate their operation, outcome and rationale. In so doing, this research will help scholars, policy-makers and practitioners to better understand if and how the procedures can be used more widely and more effectively.
  • Cooperation and compliance in international refugee law: A rational choice approach (Khanh Hoang)
    This project examines the prospects and potential pitfalls of utilising community/private sponsorship of refugees as an additional or alternative pathway for the resettlement of refugees to Australia. As the international community continues examine ways to deal with refugee flows, community/private sponsorship schemes have been put forward as a potential solution.  Canada has pioneered such community/private sponsorship since the late 1970s, and other countries including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia are now seeking to harness its potential. Drawing upon historical and comparative perspectives this project seeks to address the following questions: What role should private/community sponsorship play in the international protection of refugees? How should Australia approach community/private sponsorship and using which parameters? What can we learn from previous approaches both domestically and internationally? How does private/community sponsorship interact with other alternative pathways to protection? 

Publications

  • C. Higgins, ‘Australia’s little-known in-country programme in Latin America’, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 33(1), 2014, 8-24.
  • J. Betts and C. Higgins, ‘The Sri Lankan Civil War and Australia’s Migration Policy Response: a historical case study with contemporary implications’, Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, 4(2), 2017, 272-285
  • C. Higgins, 'Humanitarian Corridors: safe passages, but only for a few’, The Interpreter, The Lowy Institute for International Policy, 4 August 2017
  • B. Douglas, C. Higgins, A. Keski-Nummi, J. McAdam and T. McLeod, Beyond the Boats: Building an Asylum and Refugee Policy for the Long Term, Report Following a High-Level Roundtable, Australia21, Centre for Policy Development and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Canberra, 2014