Suffolk Transnational Law Review Addresses Europe’s Refugee Situation

A recent special edition of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review, featuring a number of articles written by scholars and researchers working or affiliated with RWI, aims to contribute to an increased understanding of the current refugee situation as it unfolds in Europe.

Through the perspective of these six leading voices in the human rights field, it provides an overview of how international human rights law and the current refugee situation in Europe have evolved since 2015.

Morten Kjaerum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, discusses the strong linkage between war and armed-conflict and the refugee crisis. “The international community has to cope with high numbers of forcibly displaced persons now and in coming years,” he writes, arguing that the actions of Raoul Wallenberg could inspire new thinking on how to deal with the situation today. “Thus, is there anything in the past that we can use in the present in order to be ready for the future challenges? In the title of this volume, the name Raoul Wallenberg appears and for good reasons since there may be elements of his heroic actions that may inspire today.”

Mark Gibney, affiliate professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Carol Belk Distinguished Professor at the  University of North Carolina-Asheville, writes that Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy is a source of inspiration and says that international law has evolved since his era. Since the mid-20th century, he writes, human rights have been extended beyond borders, obligating states to involve themselves in the affairs of other states.

Kelly M. Greenhill, Associate Professor at Tufts University and Research Fellow at  Harvard University, then writes about the exploitation of refugees. The professor highlights how refugees are used as political and military weapons and also addresses why they are exploited.

Next, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Research Director at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, and Nikolas Feith Tan, PhD Fellow at Aarhus University and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, analyse the conditions refugees face. They outline certain measures that could be put in place to shift global refugee policy.

Daniel Rietiker, a Senior Legal Officer at the European Court of Human Rights, then offers an understanding on how the Article 4 of Protocol 4 of the  European Convention on Human Rights should apply to the actual refugee situation. That Article prohibits the collective expulsion of aliens, which allows refugees and immigrants an effective and objective examination of their cases.

Finally, the special edition ends with an essay from Martha F. Davis, Affiliate Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and faculty director for Northeastern University’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy. She starts with an overview of the role of cities in refugee admission and settlement. To support her argument, she looks into a case study dealing with the tightening of border controls in the Öresund region of Sweden as a result of the refugee situation.


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