International Asylum Agreement

In accordance with the general principle of international law, existing treaties are binding on the parties and must be respected in good faith. Countries that have ratified the Refugee Convention are obliged to protect refugees on their territory in accordance with their conditions. [16] There are a number of provisions that states parties to the Convention on the Status of Refugees must respect. The main role of the High Commissioner, as defined in paragraph 1 of the Statute annexed to resolution 428 (V), is to provide refugees with “international protection” and to seek “durable solutions to the refugee problem” by assisting Governments. Its protection functions include `promoting the conclusion and ratification of international conventions for the protection of refugees, monitoring their application and proposing amendments thereto` (paragraph 8(a) of the Staff Regulations. In late May 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Minister met with the director of the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM), who requested a “five-year freeze” on readmission for people transferred from the United States to Guatemala (or transfers) as part of a possible agreement, likely to deter transfers from returning to the United States. [22] Last year, tens of thousands of asylum seekers left Guatemala en route to the United States or transited through Guatemala. In mid-June 2019, when the Trump administration publicly announced negotiations on the U.S.-Guatemala deal, it was aware (according to an assessment by the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala) that Guatemala was “one of the most dangerous countries in the world” and that the very rudimentary asylum system was a few hundred behind.

[23] Beginning in the late 1980s, several European countries, the United States and Canada, began signing bilateral or multilateral agreements and adopting national laws to allow countries with comparable asylum standards and procedures to transfer asylum seekers to countries considered “safe,” where they would be assured of access to a full and fair examination of applications for international protection. Many, but not all, agreements required the asylum seeker to have first transited through the designated safe third country, as they were generally based on the principle that the State of first safe arrival was responsible for examining the application. These agreements are called safe third country agreements. Transfer to these countries is sanctioned by international law, in the event that asylum seekers have already found or could find effective protection there. UNHCR has established that transfers from safe third countries should not take place if they are likely to result in refoulement (persecution in the third country) or indirect or chain refoulement (by removal from the third country to the country of origin). [15] The concept of effective protection also requires, inter alia, that any transferred asylum seeker be guaranteed: the Convention does not address the issue of reception, nor does it oblige the State of refuge to grant asylum as such, nor does it provide for the division of competences (e.g. B by defining which State faces the right to refugee status). The Convention also does not address the issue of “causes of absconding” and does not provide for prevention; Its scope does not cover internally displaced persons and there is no question of improving the management of international migration. At the regional level and notwithstanding the 1967 Protocol, refugee movements have required more targeted responses, such as the 1969 OAU/AU Convention on the Special Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and the 1984 Cartagena Declaration; in Europe, the development of the doctrine of protection within the framework of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights has led to the adoption of provisions on “subsidiary” or “complementary” protection within the legal system of the European Union.

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