Protected entry: a safer alternative pathway
Submitted by: Dr Claire Higgins, Senior Research Fellow, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales
Email: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
The United States, Australia and Italy
The research analyses historical and contemporary procedures and presents findings that can inform future consideration and/or expansion of this complementary pathway.
To allow refugees and asylum seekers to apply for entry into a territory for the purposes of obtaining protection, and therefore provide an alternative to irregular and potentially dangerous cross-border journeys.
Protected entry procedures are policy-based mechanisms. Depending on the state that has used or uses protected entry, and the historical or contemporary circumstances, this complementary pathway may also draw on the resources of non-governmental organizations or inter-governmental organizations to process applicants and/or arrange their safe transfer abroad. Past and contemporary examples show how procedures can be developed and implemented in partnership with other participants and can broaden the support base for refugee resettlement in receiving countries.
Challenges and how they were overcome
The best practice criteria set out above are based on critical analysis of challenges inherent in past and contemporary procedures. It is essential that protected entry procedures only complement – and never replace – other pathways to protection, such as access to national asylum procedures or existing third-country resettlement programs. Moreover, the mechanisms are more likely to contribute positively to the system of international protection when operating alongside other pathways. This is because host countries on the ‘frontline’ of refugee situations can have confidence that third-country resettlement will be maintained, helping to maintain protection space.
How they were overcome
Research has identified three ‘best practice’ criteria that are essential if protected entry procedures are to act as a quality complementary pathway. They must
- Be implemented for the long term.
- Operate strategically alongside other avenues to protection.
- Be flexible enough to protect individuals who fall outside the 1951 Convention definition.
- These criteria are practical, principled and protection-centred.
Results of the Good Practice
Protected entry procedures can constitute a complementary pathway to protection under the Global Compact on Refugees. They can facilitate the achievement of a core objective of the Global Compact on Refugees – expanded access to third country solutions.
The Compact states that complementary pathways to protection can help expand access to third countries and can complement UNHCR’s existing third-country resettlement program.
The Compact emphasizes that complementary pathways must be offered by more countries, and ‘made available on a more systematic, organized, sustainable and gender responsive basis’ with ‘appropriate protection safeguards’ in place.
A better understanding of how protected entry procedures can operate is essential to achieving these goals. The research findings presented in this Good Practice submission can help states and others involved to consider how to best implement and expand this complementary pathway in future.
The research findings presented in this Good Practice submission can help states and others involved to consider how best to implement and expand this complementary pathway in future.
Using the best practices identified in this submission, procedures can be adapted, replicated and broadened in scale.