Externalization and the UN Global Compact
on Refugees:

Unsafety as Ripple Effect


This Policy Brief examines recent externalization policy and legal initiatives in Europe that are affecting asylum seekers’ and refugees’ access to asylum. It analyses the main legal issues and policy challenges characterizing the externalisation of border controls – including the so-called push backs and pull backs by several EU Member States, and the recent unilateral initiatives to externalise asylum processing by the United Kingdom and Denmark governments, in light of their commitments under the UN Global Compact on Refugees and their obligations in international refugee and human rights law. The Policy Brief outlines the profoundly harmful consequences of externalisation of asylum initiatives considering the lessons learned from similar international experiences and their condemnation by relevant United Nations human rights monitoring bodies. It then provides a set of policy recommendations aimed at guaranteeing a genuine system of inter-state responsibility sharing in line with the UN GCR, where the EU plays an active role towards its implementation, and which fully upholds international refugee and human rights standards.