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Protection Gaps and Temporary Protection

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The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (the 1951 Convention) does not address all the challenging questions posed by contemporary forced migration. The 1951 Convention does not deal with persons fleeing armed conflict, admission and large-scale movement of forced migrants in a clear and comprehensive manner. In addition to this, restrictive interpretation of the refugee definition provided in Art. 1 A (2) of the 1951 Convention by State authorities, popularity of non-entrée policies and the absence of solidarity in response to large-scale forced migration movements create protection gaps. A number of initiatives have been adopted at the national, regional and international level to remedy these gaps and one of them is temporary protection. This article focuses on protection gaps and temporary protection. The first part of the article explores the extent to which the 1951 Convention deals with persons fleeing armed conflict, admission and mass-influx situations, and it seeks to clarify the reason why there are protection gaps concerning these issues. Building on this analysis, the second part of the article defines temporary protection by reviewing temporary protection policies in Turkey, the United States and the European Union and it explores to what extent temporary protection regimes can remedy protection gaps and provide effective protection to forced migrants.


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