Why do states restrict refugee rights?

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from: 11:00
to: 12:00

Join our seminar where we will discuss what explains variation in states’ policies regulating the rights of refugees after their admission.

The presenter argues that if, as with regular immigration control, host states perceive extending certain rights to refugees as costly, such a perception will prompt them to curtail (some of) refugees’ post-entry rights once being involved in a large-scale refugee intake. This presumption is reflected in an anticipatedly negative relationship (i.e., trade-off) between the number and post-entry rights of refugees in a given host country. Several complementary hypotheses are proposed and tested using newly constructed data on the de facto entitlement of refugees’ post-entry rights in major refugee-hosting countries from 2004-2016. The results give partial support to the number-vs.-rights trade-off dynamics in refugee policies but also suggest that the baseline negative relationship between the two variables can be conditioned by other factors such as refugees-host government ethnic kin connections or host states’ aid or trade-dependency levels. In keeping with existing qualitative evidence in the forced migration literature, the findings lend useful insight into why host states restrict refugees’ rights, and what factors could intervene in their decisions to do (or not to do) so.


Hirotaka Fujibayashi (Migration Policy Centre of the EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre).


Carlotta Minnella (Migration Policy Centre of the EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre).