Intercultural Human Rights Law Review

First Page



The movement of people between States continues to be high on national and international agendas. One does not need to look far beyond the headlines to see what a difficult issue it is for States and for regional and international organizations, and how often they make a mess of managing it. Nor does one need to look hard to discover how desperate is the situation of many a migrant, whether in the physical hardships and risk to life and limb encountered during the search for refuge, or in the often incomprehensible and complex web of national laws and procedures with which the migrant must deal, or when he or she is on the receiving end of State policies which seem to have left common humanity far behind. In this critical context, it is not surprising to find the continuing relevance of international refugee law being questioned; this paper aims to make the case for the defense, but it must start with a little history.