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United Nations: New International Guidelines on Detention of Asylum-Seekers

(Sept. 27, 2012) On September 21, 2012, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued new international guidelines on the detention of persons seeking asylum, a practice the UNHCR opposes in principle. Issuance of the Detention Guidelines, which supersede those issued by the UNHCR in 1999, is related in particular to […]

Israel: Jerusalem District Court Decision on Repatriation of South Sudanese

(June 26, 2012) On June 7, 2012, the Jerusalem District Court, sitting as a Court for Administrative Matters, rejected a petition to void a decision of the Minister of Interior, thus upholding the policy to end recognition of “collective protection” from repatriation for all South Sudanese in Israel to any place in South Sudan. The […]

Bangladesh; United Nations: Bangladesh Urged to Accept Refugees from Burma

(June 15, 2012) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged the Bangladeshi government to accept Burmese refugees fleeing sectarian conflict in the Burmese state of Rakhine. (Dhaka Won't Accept Myanmar Refugees, THE DAILY STAR (June 12, 2012); for background information, see 2012 UNHCR Country Operations Profile – Bangladesh, UNHCR website (last visited […]

Iceland: Proposal to Change Funding for Asylum Programs

(Aug. 29, 2011) Iceland's Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, recently proposed changing the way funding is allocated to support facilities for persons seeking asylum in the country. He argued that the current system, in which such funding is part of the budget of the Directorate of Immigration, is problematic. As the number of asylum […]

Denmark: Media Report Prompts Review of Asylum Procedures

(July 18, 2011) A July 10, 2011, news story led the Ministry of Refugee, Immigration, and Integration Affairs of Denmark to review the implementation of its procedures for interviewing those seeking asylum. AVISEN.DK published a series of articles that other newspapers in the country repeated, claiming that the government was using information obtained illegally by […]

Italy: State of Emergency over Tunisian Refugees

(Feb. 22, 2011) Italy has declared a state of emergency following the arrival, within five days, of 5,000 refugees from Tunisia on the small Italian island of Lampedusa, which is just 60 miles from Tunisia in the Mediterranean Sea. A center for receiving migrants has been re-opened on the island, but it is already overcrowded. […]

Australia: Legislation to Combat People Smuggling Passed

(May 20, 2010) On May 13, 2010, the Australian Parliament passed the Anti-People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill 2010. (Press Release, Hon. Robert McClelland, Hon. Brendan O'Connor, & Sen. Chris Evans, Passage of Legislation to Combat People Smuggling (May 13, 2010), available at http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/media/pressrel/JPQW6/upload_binary/jpqw60.pdf.) “People smuggling” is a specific offense under Australian law. The offense […]

African Union: Treaty on Internally Displaced Persons

(Oct. 27, 2009) On October 23, 2009, a new treaty was endorsed at a special summit of African Union heads of state, held in Kampala, Uganda. The treaty concerns the protection and treatment of internally displaced persons, and it will become effective once 15 nations ratify the document. (UN Human Rights Chief Hails New Pact […]

Finland: Proposal to Change Asylum Policy

(June 9, 2009) Finland's government is drafting a proposal for changes to the country's policies on asylum; the proposal will be presented to the legislature. The goal is to reduce the number of asylum applications that are eventually turned down as not qualifying for protection by making Finland a less attractive destination. The proposal was […]

Laos; Thailand: Resettlement Abroad of Some Hmong Refugees

(Apr. 30, 2009) Kasit Priomya, Thailand's Foreign Minister, visited the United States in late April 2009, and he discussed the status of ethnic Hmong refugees from Laos now living in a detention center in Thailand. Meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he said that the Hmong “are regarded as political asylum seekers, so […]