The Legalities of Accepting or Refusing Refugees and Asylum Seekers in International Law


  • Caitlin Cichoracki
  • Sama Kahook


Asylum, Refugees, International Relations, Political Asylum


In the wake of contemporary events, such as the Syrian refugee crisis, and recalling historical events such as the Holocaust, it is important to understand the dynamic between states and international law. In the midst of the current refugee crisis, how might countries decide who accepts and denies refugees into their borders? We answer this by focusing on the laws and regulations that have been implemented since the 1951 Refugee Convention. The attitudes toward refugees and how the crisis is handled are an accurate reflection of the discrepancy between states’ responsibilities and states’ needs. We investigate the history of the laws and how states have found loopholes through the rules and regulations through court cases. Through this research, we are able to understand the legalities of how refugees reach safety and who takes responsibility when a government ultimately fails its people.