IGA-345: Forced Migration and Human Rights

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 1.0


Day Time Location
First Day
Meet Day


Migration is a critical survival strategy for millions in today's world. Yet the ability to migrate legally and safely is unequally distributed, a luxury for many of the populations who need it most. This course explores differing types of contemporary forced migration, including refugee flight, asylum seeking, internal displacement, trafficking, and responses to these migrations, including "safe havens," temporary and humanitarian protection, refugee camps, detention, interception on the high seas, and deportation. It analyzes the role of UNHCR as protector and gatekeeper, and the institution of asylum, as a migration control tool for states and a human rights protection for individuals. It questions whether effective refugee protection can survive in an international order dominated by security concerns and advance warning systems and explores human rights protections (including under the Convention against Torture) available to threatened individuals and populations. Comparative materials, including case law and human rights reports, from the United States, Europe, Australia, and Africa are used to explore implementation of international refugee law through domestic courts and to examine policy developments related to forced migration. Other issues covered include gender and child persecution (including on the basis of sexual orientation), asylum eligibility for victims of non-state persecutors (husbands, rapists, circumcisers, guerrilla forces) and for perpetrators ("terrorists", genocidaires).

Also offered by the Law School as HLS-38230-31, but not offered in 2013-14.