PROTECT The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization? is an EU-funded research project launched on 1. February 2020. We study the impacts of the UN's Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration, which are two non-binding frameworks promoting international cooperation and responsibility-sharing as key solutions to handle global refugee flows. We investigate how the Compacts impact refugees' right to international protection by studying how they are received and implemented in different countries, and how they interact with existing legal frameworks and governance architectures.
PROTECT consists of 11 Work Packages, which are the building blocks of the project. Each Work Package investigates the impact of the Global Compacts in different ways - such as how they affect citizens' and civil societies’ recognition of the right to international protection, how they interact with existing institutional architectures of asylum determination and legal frameworks such as the 1951 Convention, and how they impact the public discourses on refuge and migration circulating in the media and on social media.
In this video from our Kick-off Conference, you can get a short introduction to our research objectives.
PROTECT consists of 11 partner universities in Europe, South Africa, and Canada. We are political scientists, legal scholars, and anthropologists. We have expertise in political theory, legal theory, cleavage theory, public sphere theory, multilevel global governance, and ethnography. In our partner presentation series, you can read more - and watch video presentations - about our researchers, their research interests and role in the project.
Recent puclications and blogs
In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the EU discourse on migration has acquired a humanitarian dimension that deserves investigation. The European Commission in particular has provided a discursive conceptualisation of the European human and humane approach to migration, promoting a change in the EU migration frame, argues Stefania Panebianco in a new article in the International Spectator.
The ongoing pandemic has had devastating consequences for people, communities, and economies all over the world. Throughout 2020, PROTECT researchers have paid particular attention to how the pandemic has affected people on the move in different countries. Here, we have summarized our main concerns.
By Evgenia Iliadou
Although one might think that death would be the last act of a lethal political game which is played at refugees’ expense and that death itself would serve as a figurative border beyond which violence would not carry on and inflict suffering. My research indicates that violence also continues in death and even beyond the moment of death. Violence continues to be inflicted upon the lifeless bodies which are washed ashore, the unidentified and missing persons, the shipwreck survivors, the families, and even whole communities.
By Mari Lund Eide
The Syrian civil war has been waging for ten years and the consequences for Syria, Syrians, the neighboring states, and the region have been devastating. The crisis has left over 6.6 million Syrians in need of protection and resettlement. Still, a handful of neighboring states continue to host the majority of Syrian refugees. The call from UN and EU leaders that that European countries must not only keep their hearts and wallets open for Syrian refugees but also their borders has gone unheeded, to the shame of Europe as a whole, concludes PROTECT researcher Elspeth Guild.
Our researchers can now look back on the first year of a three-year-long project. They have prepared research frameworks, surveys, interview guides, laid the basis for our outreach and engagement work – all while adapting to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this newsletter, our project leader Hakan G. Sicakkan shares his thoughts on our good, but unusual start. We have also summarized our extensive contributions on the consequences of Covid-19 for refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.
By Pierre Van Wolleghem
While the COVID-19 crisis is slowing down in Europe, EU member states have once again been called to decide on the priorities of the Union for the next seven years and agree on a massive recovery fund to mend the damages the pandemic has done to the EU’s economy. As Romanian Ministry of European Affairs, George Ciamba declared while his country held the rotating Presidency of the Council: “The European Budget is a reflection of how we see the European Union in the future”.
By Elspeth Guild and Kathryn Allinson
At a time when international refugee law is under considerable threat, having a Global Compact that amalgamated so many existing rights and obligations were not guaranteed. The role of the 1951 Convention in the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) remains central to its success. Half of the existing, binding law upon which the GCR sits, is contained in the 1951 Convention enshrining the core protections owed to refugees, but the other half, international human rights law, is also critical for refugees.
By Mari Lund Eide
In this series, PROTECT's 11 partner universities and researcher are presented through articles and videos. Get to know their expertise, role in the project, and research interests.
By Evgenia Iliadou and Theofanis Exedaktylos
As much as the Greek state tries to present the fire and misery that unfolded as an unpredictable event and a state of emergency, this disaster was preventable, foreseeable and, therefore, foretold and avoidable. It is the outcome of a series of inadequate and patchy political decisions as well as the largely exclusionary, discriminatory and deterrent policies that have been implemented within and beyond the EU’s borders. And while the Greek government has frequently sounded the alarm at the EU-level, the wave of populism and the surge of the far-right across Europe in the past decade have largely closed the EU’s ears and eyes to the problems.
By Mari Lund Eide
The overcrowded Moria camp has become an image of a failed collective effort to create cross-European solidarity for refugees and asylum seekers. On 23 September 2020, the European Commission launched their New Pact on Migration and Asylum aimed at replacing the heavily criticized Dublin Regulation. But what exactly is the ‘Dublin problem’ – and which solutions do the new pact hold, if any?
(Re)Watch our Expert Forums:
In November 2020, the PROTECT project organized three Expert Forums to take stock of the Global Compacts and discuss the current protection needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, Canada, and South Africa. The Forums brought together academics in the field of migration and refugee studies and law – and representatives from organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, and Civil Society Organizations such as Lawyers for Human Rights and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. Watch talks and discussions below:
Featured vlogs and presentations:
On our YouTube channel, you can watch video presentations of our research objectives by our Work Package leaders and stay updated on our latest video blogs, presentations, and comments on current issues. You can also access videos from PROTECT events such as our kick-off conference in Brussels in 2020. Below is a selection of some of the videos featuring PROTECT researchers. Go to our YouTube channel to browse our playlists.
Where are we?
Our partner universities
The PROTECT researchers are based at 11 universities in 7 countries in Europe, and South Africa, and Canada. Click on the pins in the map below to see where in the world our researchers work from.
Our fieldwork sites
Our field researchers conduct ethnographic fieldwork in six migratory hotspots in Spain, France, Greece, Italy, South Africa, and Canada. On the map below, you can navigate our field sites and see the leading researchers.