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Refugee or just Stateless? - A Study of International Refugee Law in relation to Stateless Persons and Socio-Economic Deprivation

Pejic, Marija LU (2019) JURM02 20191
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Statelessness restricts the access of many rights, such as education and employment, which leads to many stateless persons finding themselves in socio-economic deprivation. The predicament of socio-economic deprivation can become so acute as to force people to cross international borders to seek protection elsewhere, for example as refugees. In international refugee law, it is widely acknowledged that a claim for refugee status can be based on socio-economic deprivation. Stateless persons can establish a claim for refugee status under the Refugee Convention as well as avail themselves of the protection of the Statelessness Convention and the Reduction of Statelessness Convention. However, the indefinite nature of the refugee definition... (More)
Statelessness restricts the access of many rights, such as education and employment, which leads to many stateless persons finding themselves in socio-economic deprivation. The predicament of socio-economic deprivation can become so acute as to force people to cross international borders to seek protection elsewhere, for example as refugees. In international refugee law, it is widely acknowledged that a claim for refugee status can be based on socio-economic deprivation. Stateless persons can establish a claim for refugee status under the Refugee Convention as well as avail themselves of the protection of the Statelessness Convention and the Reduction of Statelessness Convention. However, the indefinite nature of the refugee definition gives rise to interpretative issues and differences in interpretation between jurisdictions.

The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether the situation of statelessness causes additional interpretative challenges in the context of claims for refugee status based on the denial of economic and social rights and how such potential challenges can best be resolved. To fulfil this purpose, the examination focuses on the requirements of ‘being persecuted’ and a causal link in the refugee definition. To this end, a doctrinal research method has been employed. The elements of the refugee definition have been examined by the use of mainly secondary sources, such as doctrine and case law. In regard to case law, cases concerning stateless claims for refugee status based on socio-economic deprivation from five English language jurisdictions have been discussed.

The situation of statelessness gives rise to additional interpretative challenges in regard to Article 2(3) of the ICESCR. Article 2(3) of the ICESCR is a narrow exception to the non-discrimination principle which applies to developing countries in regard to economic rights and non-nationals. Another specific issue which arises in stateless claims for refugee status based on socio-economic deprivation is what relevance the lack of reciprocal agreements be-tween states should be given. In this regard, a thorough examination of whether differential treatment based on the lack of reciprocal agreements is proportionate must be made. In relation to the requirement of a causal link in the refugee definition, the situation of statelessness causes no additional interpretative issues but rather it complicates the appreciation of the facts of the case. Decision-makers must engage in more depth with the facts of the case and expand their understanding of the situation of statelessness and how it emerges. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Statslöshet inskränker många rättigheter, såsom rätten till utbildning och arbete, vilket leder till att många statslösa personer befinner sig i socioekonomisk utsatthet. Socioekonomisk utsatthet kan leda till så akuta konsekvenser att människor tvingas korsa internationella gränser för att söka skydd någon annanstans, till exempel som flyktingar. I internationell flyktingrätt är det allmänt etablerat att en ansökan om flyktingstatus kan grundas på socioekonomisk utsatthet. Statslösa personer kan hävda flyktingstatus enligt Flyktingkonventionen samt nyttja skyddet i Statslöshetskonventionen och Konventionen om begränsning av statslöshet. Flyktingdefinitionens vaga natur leder dock till tolkningsfrågor och skillnader i tolkning mellan olika... (More)
Statslöshet inskränker många rättigheter, såsom rätten till utbildning och arbete, vilket leder till att många statslösa personer befinner sig i socioekonomisk utsatthet. Socioekonomisk utsatthet kan leda till så akuta konsekvenser att människor tvingas korsa internationella gränser för att söka skydd någon annanstans, till exempel som flyktingar. I internationell flyktingrätt är det allmänt etablerat att en ansökan om flyktingstatus kan grundas på socioekonomisk utsatthet. Statslösa personer kan hävda flyktingstatus enligt Flyktingkonventionen samt nyttja skyddet i Statslöshetskonventionen och Konventionen om begränsning av statslöshet. Flyktingdefinitionens vaga natur leder dock till tolkningsfrågor och skillnader i tolkning mellan olika jurisdiktioner.

Uppsatsens syfte är att undersöka om statslöshet ger upphov till ytterligare tolkningsfrågor vad gäller ansökningar om flyktingstatus baserade på förnekandet av ekonomiska och sociala rättigheter och hur sådana tolkningsfrågor bäst kan lösas. För att uppfylla detta syfte fokuserar undersökningen på kraven på förföljelse och ett orsakssamband i flyktingdefinitionen. För detta ändamål har den rättsdogmatiska metoden använts. Rekvisiten i flyktingdefinitionen har undersökts huvudsakligen med hjälp av sekundärkällor, såsom doktrin och rättspraxis. Vad gäller rättspraxis har fall från fem engelskspråkiga jurisdiktioner där statslösa personer hävdar flyktingstatus på grund av socioekonomisk utsatthet diskuterats.

Statslöshet ger upphov till ytterligare tolkningsutmaningar i förhållande till artikel 2(3) i ICESCR. Artikel 2(3) i ICESCR är ett undantag från principen om icke-diskriminering som kan nyttjas av utvecklingsländer avseende ekonomiska rättigheter och icke-medborgare. Ett annat specifikt problem som uppstår när statslösa personer hävdar flyktingstatus på grund av socioekonomisk utsatthet är att bestämma vilken betydelse bristen på ömsesidiga avtal bör ha. I detta hänseende måste en grundlig undersökning göras av huruvida särbehandling som grundas på bristen av ömsesidiga avtal är proportionerlig. I förhållande till kravet på orsakssamband i flyktingdefinitionen ger statslöshet inte upphov till några ytterligare tolkningsfrågor, men komplicerar bedömningen av omständigheterna i det enskilda fallet. Beslutsfattare måste djupgående beakta omständigheterna i det enskilda fallet och utöka sin förståelse för statslöshet och hur den uppstår. (Less)
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author
Pejic, Marija LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20191
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
public international law, migration law, refugee law, statelessness
language
English
id
8976848
date added to LUP
2019-06-11 17:24:12
date last changed
2019-06-11 17:24:12
@misc{8976848,
  abstract     = {Statelessness restricts the access of many rights, such as education and employment, which leads to many stateless persons finding themselves in socio-economic deprivation. The predicament of socio-economic deprivation can become so acute as to force people to cross international borders to seek protection elsewhere, for example as refugees. In international refugee law, it is widely acknowledged that a claim for refugee status can be based on socio-economic deprivation. Stateless persons can establish a claim for refugee status under the Refugee Convention as well as avail themselves of the protection of the Statelessness Convention and the Reduction of Statelessness Convention. However, the indefinite nature of the refugee definition gives rise to interpretative issues and differences in interpretation between jurisdictions. 

The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether the situation of statelessness causes additional interpretative challenges in the context of claims for refugee status based on the denial of economic and social rights and how such potential challenges can best be resolved. To fulfil this purpose, the examination focuses on the requirements of ‘being persecuted’ and a causal link in the refugee definition. To this end, a doctrinal research method has been employed. The elements of the refugee definition have been examined by the use of mainly secondary sources, such as doctrine and case law. In regard to case law, cases concerning stateless claims for refugee status based on socio-economic deprivation from five English language jurisdictions have been discussed. 

The situation of statelessness gives rise to additional interpretative challenges in regard to Article 2(3) of the ICESCR. Article 2(3) of the ICESCR is a narrow exception to the non-discrimination principle which applies to developing countries in regard to economic rights and non-nationals. Another specific issue which arises in stateless claims for refugee status based on socio-economic deprivation is what relevance the lack of reciprocal agreements be-tween states should be given. In this regard, a thorough examination of whether differential treatment based on the lack of reciprocal agreements is proportionate must be made. In relation to the requirement of a causal link in the refugee definition, the situation of statelessness causes no additional interpretative issues but rather it complicates the appreciation of the facts of the case. Decision-makers must engage in more depth with the facts of the case and expand their understanding of the situation of statelessness and how it emerges.},
  author       = {Pejic, Marija},
  keyword      = {public international law,migration law,refugee law,statelessness},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Refugee or just Stateless? - A Study of International Refugee Law in relation to Stateless Persons and Socio-Economic Deprivation},
  year         = {2019},
}