International Legal Standards for the Protection from Refoulement

A Legal Analysis of the Prohibitions on Refoulement Contained in the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture

By Kees Wouters

Every year, millions of people are seeking protection in countries other than their own for fear of being tortured, persecuted, or killed. Finding protection is not easy. States are closely guarding their borders, making it difficult for aliens to seek protection from serious harm. No matter where they are or why they flee, people seeking international protection are vulnerable and insecure - in dire need of knowing, understanding, and receiving their rights. This book explores the basic right of every forcibly-displaced person to be protected from refoulement (forced return). The prohibition of refoulement is the cornerstone of international refugee and asylum law and aims to provide protection to people at risk of persecution, torture, inhuman treatment, or other human rights violations upon return to their own country. This book provides a comprehensive legal analysis of prohibitions of refoulement contained in four human rights treaties - the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture. The emphasis of the analysis is on the international meaning of the prohibitions of refoulement and on the responsibilities of States deriving from these prohibitions. The four treaties are analyzed in separate chapters. The final chapter compares the prohibitions of refoulement contained in the four investigated treaties. This book will be an important resource for legal scholars, students, and practitioners working with asylum seekers and refugees throughout the world. It is also a reminder for States which have obliged themselves to protect people from becoming victims of unspeakable atrocities.


638 pages

Publication Date: 4/13/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789050958769