The Right to Have Rights as a Right to Enter: Addressing a Lacuna in the International Refugee Protection Regime

Human Rights Review 18 (4):417-437 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper draws upon Hannah Arendt's idea of the 'right to have rights' to critique the current protection gap faced by refugees today. While refugees are protected from refoulement once they make it to the jurisdiction or territory of a state, they face an ever-increasing array of non-entrée policies designed to stymie access to state territory. Without being able to enter a state capable of securing their claims to safety and dignity, refugees cannot achieve the rights which ought to be afforded to them under international law. Drawing upon both legal theory and political philosophy, this paper argues that refugees today, just as the stateless in Arendt’s time, must be afforded the ‘right to have rights’, understood as a right to enter state territory.

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References found in this work

The Life of the Mind.Hannah Arendt - 1977 - Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
The Ethics of Immigration.Joseph Carens - 2013 - New York: Oxford University Press.
State of Exception.Giorgio Agamben - 2004 - University of Chicago Press.

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