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Part IV Access to Protection and International Responsibility-Sharing, Ch.27 Extraterritorial Migration Control and Deterrence

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Nikolas Feith Tan

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law

Edited By: Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 01 December 2023

Migration — Asylum — Non-refoulement — Responsibility of states — Extraterritorial application of treaties

Extraterritorial migration control represents a fundamental challenge to refugees’ ability to access asylum. The right to seek asylum, pivotal to the international protection of refugees, almost always requires that an asylum seeker reach a State’s territory to access protection. This chapter charts the emergence and evolution of different forms of extraterritorial migration control over the past three decades which render this access to protection increasingly dangerous and elusive. Equally, the chapter shows that international refugee law has not remained static in this period. From dynamic developments in the interpretation of key tenets of refugee law to the wider turn to international human rights law and litigation, refugee lawyers have consistently challenged restrictive developments in State practice. However, legal responses to extraterritorial migration control cannot stop here. This chapter sketches out a topographical approach to accountability, cutting across different legal regimes, different levels of national, transnational, regional, and international law, and different jurisdictions in both the Global North and the Global South, to confront the challenges thrown up by contemporary extraterritorial migration control and deterrence.

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