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A new Policy Brief from the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, released today, examines critical legal and practical concerns in creating ‘safe zones’ for people caught up in areas of conflict.

With nearly half a million people killed in the on-going conflict in Syria – and millions more fleeing across the borders – the EU, the US and countries in the Astana process (Turkey, Russia and Iran) have called for the creation of safe zones within Syria as a positive humanitarian alternative.

Creating safe zones and safe corridors in conflict situations: Providing protection at home or preventing the search for asylum? considers: What are the requirements to ensure that safe zones are ‘safe’? What law, if any, applies? Are safe zones in fact being proposed as a means to discourage would-be refugees from fleeing to other countries?

This Policy Brief was written for the Kaldor Centre by Geoff Gilbert, a Professor of Law at the University of Essex and a Visiting Professor at UNSW, and Anna Magdalena Rüsch.

We invite you to read their op-ed, When is a safe zone safe? and listen to ABC Radio’s The World Today interview with Prof. Gilbert and Paul White, from the UN interagency Protection Standby  Capacity Project (ProCap), who also spoke at today’s safe zones panel discussion at UNSW Sydney.

Additionally, you might be interested in the Kaldor Centre’s Factsheet on Syria. 

The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.