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A Temporary Protection Regime in Line with International Law: Utopia or Real Possibility?

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Temporary protection has long been a state response to mass influx situations offering persons seeking refuge immediate protection from refoulement and basic minimum treatment. Today, temporary protection is still relevant: Since 2011, Syrians in Turkey have been protected under a temporary protection regime. Despite this relevance, there is no structured legal framework regulating temporary protection at an international level. Furthermore, conformity of temporary protection regimes with the Refugee Convention, international law and human rights is largely undefined and unsettled. This article takes a step towards clarifying the relationship between temporary protection and international law by discussing whether states can implement a temporary protection regime which does not undermine the Refugee Convention, deprive temporarily protected persons of their basic human rights and lead to premature forced return of the protected persons. Building on the premise that such a temporary protection regime would be in line with international law, this article provides guidance to states on how they should regulate rights and entitlements of the temporarily protected persons, maximum time limit of protection and withdrawal of temporary protection.

Affiliations: 1: University of Bristol


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