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Part IV Access to Protection and International Responsibility-Sharing, Ch.29 Smuggling of Migrants and Refugees

Andreas Schloenhardt

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: 11 December 2023

Asylum — Non-refoulement — Migrants — Human trafficking

This chapter focuses on the smuggling of migrants in the context of refugee movements, and examines the scope and application of international law pertaining to these phenomena. The principal binding global instrument on this topic is the United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air which, on the surface, coexists alongside international refugee law in situations where smuggled migrants are seeking asylum. Although the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol expressly recognizes the protection afforded to refugees under international law, its interpretation, operation, and implementation often run into conflict with the Refugee Convention. All too frequently, measures to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants focus exclusively on law enforcement, criminal justice, and restrictive border measures without recognizing the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and smuggled migrants, which are the subject of this chapter.

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