This section includes external publications written by our ASILE network experts, that are not ASILE deliverables.

Relevant publications

Are all Afghan women and girls refugees? An analysis in light of the Refugee Convention

 and / December 2022

Following the withdrawal of the United States (US) and international forces in July 2021, the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan.  Since the Taliban takeover, women and girls have been denied a number of fundamental rights and subjected to various discriminatory measures – including restrictions on education, work, movement and freedom of expression and speech. On 20 December 2022, restricting the right to education of Afghan women further, the Taliban banned women from universities.

These recent developments raise a crucial question: should any Afghan woman or girl fleeing the country following the Taliban takeover be recognised as a refugee under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention)? Here we attempt to answer this question and argue that all Afghan women and girls fleeing Taliban rule should be recognised, as a group, as refugees under the 1951 Convention.  

First, we briefly outline state responses to the Taliban takeover ranging from evacuations to resettlement to treatment of Afghan women and girls in national asylum systems. We then turn to the critical elements of the Convention refugee definition with respect to Afghan women and girls: whether their treatment amounts to ‘persecution’ and whether they fall into the category of ‘particular social group’.

The European Commission’s legislative proposals in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum

CARRERA, Sergio; CORTINOVIS, Roberto; VOSYLIŪTĖ, Lina; BROUWER,  Evelien; CAMPESI, Giuseppe; KARAGEORGIOU, Eleni; VEDSTED-HANSEN, Jens / September 2021

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs on request of the Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties and Justice, aims to provide a detailed mapping and analysis of the central legal changes and issues characterising the five main legislative proposals accompanying the Pact on Migration and Asylum, presented by the Commission in September 2020. The legislative instruments under consideration include a new Screening Regulation, an amended proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation, an amended proposal revising the Eurodac Regulation, a new Asylum and Migration Management Regulation, and a new Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation. As a second step, the study provides a critical assessment of the five proposals as to their legal coherence, fundamental rights compliance, and application of the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility enshrined in Article 80 TFEU.

Community Sponsorship in Europe: Taking Stock, Policy Transfer and What the Future Might Hold

TAN, Nikolas Feith / April 2021

This article explores the recent emergence of community sponsorship of refugees in Europe, an approach which shares responsibility between civil society and the state for the admission and/or integration of refugees. Originally a Canadian model developed to support the resettlement of Indochinese refugees, the model has gained momentum in Europe, with a number of states piloting or establishing community sponsorship schemes. This proliferation, while generally seen as positive for international protection of refugees, has led to conceptual confusion and a significant range of approaches under the “umbrella” concept of community sponsorship. As a result, community sponsorship today may be understood both as a form of resettlement and a complementary pathway to protection. While interest and momentum around community sponsorship is high, little work currently exists mapping and analysing how jurisdictions adopt the community sponsorship model.

Border Procedure: Efficient Examination or Restricted Access to Protection

VEDSTED-HANSEN, Jens / December 2020

This blogpost focus on the two proposals for a Screening Regulation and for an Asylum Procedure Regulation from the European Commission that must be seen in conjunction, these procedural devices should be considered in the light of the proposed pre-entry screening.

The end of the right to seek asylum? : COVID-19 and the future of refugee protection

GHEZELBASH, Daniel; TAN, Nikolas Feith / September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the institution of asylum, exacerbating longer term trends limiting the ability of asylum seekers to cross-borders to seek protection. As a result, the early months of 2020 saw an effective extinguishment of the right to seek asylum. This working paper examines how this played out in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States. National and regional responses varied, with Australia and the United States effectively ending asylum seeking. In Europe, some states upheld the right to seek asylum by exempting asylum seekers from general border closures, while other countries used the crisis to suspend the right to seek asylum. Finally, this working paper explores strategies for restoring and protecting the right to seek asylum beyond the pandemic.