The International Refugee Regime and Non-signatory States: Launch of Forced Migration Review special feature on non-signatory states
How do non-signatory states engage with the international refugee regime, and what, if any, is the role of the Refugee Convention in these states?
A roundtable discussion with FMR special feature authors. Illustration: UiO
The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol form the foundation of the international refugee regime; 149 UN Member States are currently party to the Refugee Convention, its 1967 Protocol or both, while 44 UN Members are not. Most non-signatory States are in the Middle East and in South and Southeast Asia.
How do these states engage with the international refugee regime, and what, if any, is the role of the Refugee Convention in these states? These issues will be explored through a roundtable discussion with FMR special feature authors: Maja Janmyr, M Sanjeeb Hossain, Georgia Cole, Brian Barbour, Özlem Skribeland, JN Joniad.
Among other issues, the roundtable will discuss how UNHCR is often key in encouraging non-signatory State actors to accept certain international standards, which in turn influences State behaviour. Domestic courts also sometimes engage with international refugee law norms and principles, affecting refugees’ and asylum seekers’ access to protection.
States’ participation in high-level meetings, forums and agreements such as the Global Compacts is also significant in helping to create soft law obligations that build on the hard law (the Convention) that these States have formally opted out of. Meanwhile, civil society can play an enabling role in many States.
The FMR special issue on non-signatory states is a collaboration between Forced Migration Review and the BEYOND project at the University of Oslo. The 9 articles featured in this issue reflect on the status of refugee protection in non-signatory states and the various ways these states engage with the international refugee regime.
The event is organized by the BEYOND project (University of Oslo) and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network. It is the second of two launch events taking place in September 2021. For details on our first launch event, please visit: Legal Aid Beyond the Refugee Convention: Launch of Forced Migration Review special issue on non-signatory states.