- Asylum — Internally displaced persons — Non-refoulement — NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) — Regional co-operation — Regional organizations
This chapter focuses on the Middle East as a region, which is defined to include Arab States, Israel, and Turkey, but to exclude North African countries apart from Egypt. It explores the role of the Refugee Convention, UNHCR, influential NGOs, and international human rights law to protect asylum seekers and refugees in the region. The chapter opens with a brief outline of the Middle Eastern context, historical background in relation to international refugee law, and the significance of UNHCR and the UN Relief Works Agency in Arab States. It compares the approach of States that are parties to the Refugee Convention and those that are not, and considers the consequences of non-ratification as well as the use of domestic legislation to deal with asylum seekers and refugees. An important focus of the chapter is how—and whether—refugee protection is achieved across the region in light of States’ differing approaches to refugeehood, which arise from historical, political, and religious (Islamic) notions of hospitality and the treatment of foreigners, as well as the role of law.
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