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Global Asylum Governance and the European Union's Role

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ASILE runs for 4 years (2019-2023) coinciding with the implementation cycle of the UN Global Compact on Refugees. Foto: CEPS

About the project

ASILE studies the interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees (UN GCR), with particular focus on the European Union's role and contribution.

Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, ASILE examines the characteristics of international and country-specific asylum governance instruments and arrangements, and their compatibility with international and regional human rights and refugee laws. A key objective of the project is to provide the cutting edge of academic knowledge, promising practices and a collection of evidence-based tools for the development of future asylum policies.

ASILE is coordinated by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, implements the work package Refugee Recognition, Self-Reliance and Rights. The work package is led by Professor Maja Janmyr in collaboration with Professor Cathryn Costello (University of Oxford/University of Oslo) and Dr Lewis Turner (Newcastle University).

For regular updates about the ASILE project please visit the project's official website.

Objectives and outcomes

The work package on Refugee Recognition, Self-Reliance and Rights will facilitate a better understanding of how refugee protection is allocated and the rights enjoyed by refugees, in particular by providing critical insights into institutional practices employing the concepts of 'vulnerability' and 'self-reliance'.

It will provide knowledge on Refugee Status Determination (RSD) practices in six case study countries, and in-depth comparative case study on the refugee recognition regimes in Jordan and Bangladesh.

Particular focus will be given to RSD, its links with resettlement, and the risks that refugee protection will be undermined by treating refugees instead as 'vulnerable migrants', or rationing refugee protection only to those deemed 'vulnerable'. Given the focus on self-reliance and work rights, the links between these issues and vulnerability assessments will be explored in the case-studies.

Questions that will be explored include: How does having the right to work, and obtaining work, potentially both mitigate and create exposure to different harms? How is this different for refugees of different genders, nationalities, skill levels, and class statuses, who all often experience different conditions, rewards, and harms at work? How do refugees themselves understand 'vulnerability' and the gains and harms that might accrue from the right to work?

In-depth case studies

Jordan and Bangladesh are chosen as in-depth case studies for four reasons:

  1. They are on the list of the world's top ten refugee-hosting countries and are currently dealing with deeply protracted refugee situations.
  2. They have informal and weak refugee recognition processes.
  3. They have weak refugee rights protection, as evidenced by mobility and work restrictions. 
  4. The EU and its Member States have a role in sustaining the status quo, and perhaps leveraging better protection.


ASILE is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 870787.

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ASILE is led by Dr. Sergio Carrera at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels and includes leading scholars and practitioners in the field of International Refugee Law from 12 institutions. 

Published Mar. 16, 2020 9:27 AM - Last modified May 27, 2022 2:03 PM