jemen

Islam and refugees

In these times of mass displacement and increasing islamophobia, I want to share a finding from a recently published study of mine:

“‘[I]f any human being asks for asylum, it can on no account be refused.’
[...]
the way Islamic law has been applied seems to provide better protection than the 1951 Refugee Convention alone.”

The paper where I explore the rights of disaster-affected Somalis and Ethiopians in Yemen is available through the open access journal Oslo Law Review:

“Disasters and Refugee Protection: A Socio-Legal Case Study from Yemen.” Oslo Law Review, 2(3), 2015.

Disasters and refugee protection – a socio-legal case study from Yemen

Every year millions of people are forced to flee their homes in the context of climate change and disasters. Their needs and rights are unclear. This paper presents and discusses some findings from a socio-legal case study exploring the rights of disaster-affected Somalis and Ethiopians in Yemen. The first main findings relate to the challenges that Ethiopians face in accessing, and succeeding with, the formal asylum process. This is discussed in light of legal aid theory and research as well as research on credibility assessments. Another category of findings relates to interactions of local, religious law and international law. This is discussed in light of legal pluralism, which helps in identifying an emancipatory potential. While complex, dynamic and depending on regional politics and other factors, the way Islamic law is applied - and influences other bodies of law - seems to ensure better protection than the 1951 Refugee Convention alone. This potential should be further explored and possibly expanded in order to strengthen the rights of people displaced in the context of climate change and disasters more generally.

Read the full conference paper
here.