Working Paper 203

En Route to Protection: a literature review of key issues in refugee law

Katia Bianchini 

Abteilung ‘Recht & Ethnologie’

Jahr der Veröffentlichung


Working Paper 203

Migrants and asylum seekers have been at the forefront of international, regional, and national debates for nearly two decades. During this period, the challenges related to their protection needs have been widely researched and the body of literature has become very vast. However, many issues remain underexplored, both in specialized migration literature and socio-legal analysis. Within this context, the overarching aim of this working paper is to provide a literature review on key protection issues in refugee law and contribute to the academic debates on the limitations of the existing legal provisions. By reviewing mostly legal and, to a lesser degree, social science studies, the paper highlights the shortcomings of the law, encompassing both legal gaps and implementation problems in two main thematic areas that affect EU member states individually or the EU as a whole – namely access to the territory and access to asylum once in the country of refuge. The paper concludes with some remarks on the status of the current scholarship and hopes to establish the basis for future interdisciplinary research in legal and social sciences.

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