Bibliography File Note.
International Journal of Refugee Law
Int J Refugee Law
This article examines the implications for refugees and asylum-seekers of the recent enactment, particularly in Europe and North America, of tough immigration control mechanisms designed to check certain types of flows. These have included broader visa regimes and legislation strengthening the liabilities of airlines for the transport of improperly documented passengers. The article argues that, given the special problems faced by refugees and the inevitable tension between being a refugee, applying for a passport or visa, and the role of national authorities in the issue of these documents, recent carrier sanctions legislation which does not discriminate between asylum-seekers and other aliens is fundamentally flawed. It threatens to undermine basic principles of refugee protection, the operation of the asylum process, procedural guarantees of due process and international co-operation to resolve refugee problems, while maintaining full respect for the human rights of the individuals involved. The article recognizes that States have a legitimate interest in controlling irregular migration, and a right to do so through appropriate border measures. It is argued, however, that States are in breach of international obligations towards refugees where such measures hinder access both to status determination procedures and to asylum from persecution