Federico Lenzerini

The Management of Refugee Flows in Times of Pandemic: COVID-19 and Beyond

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: pandemic; asylum; refugees; particular social group; non-refoulement; burden-sharing

Restrictive immigration measures adopted by governments in the first months of 2020 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have determined a drastic decrement of asylum applications in countries of destination of asylum seekers. However, these kinds of restrictive policies, when taken in times of pandemic, are likely to reverberate on reception countries as boomerangs taking the form of illegal immigration and smuggling of migrants, causing an increment of asylum applications in contexts where the risks attached to the pandemic would make it very hard for States to comply with their legal obligations pursuant to international asylum and human rights law. However, the adoption of appropriate measures with the purpose of guaranteeing both compliance with pertinent international obligations and protection of public health against the spread of a pandemic appears possible, especially if accompanied by the development of ad hoc schemes of international cooperation, which would certainly represent the best possible approach to adequately reconcile all the different needs involved.

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