Forced to Flee and Nowhere to go in the Era of Globalisation: Impact on Human Rights of Refugees

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Gopalkrishna, S. V. M
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Human rights are a set of universal claims to safeguard human dignity from illegitimate coercion, typically enacted by state agents. International dialogue on human rights has produced a distinction between three "generations" of human rights, labelled for their historical emergence. Security rights encompass life, bodily integrity, liberty, and sometimes associated rights of political participation and democratic governance. Social and economic rights, highlighted in the eponymous International Covenant, comprise both negative and positive freedoms, enacted by states and others: prominently, rights to food, health care, education, and free labor. More recently discussed collective rights may include rights such as membership in a cultural community and access to a healthy environment. These "generations" of rights often involve different sets of actors and different levels of state accountability. Refugees by definition are victims of human rights violations. Mass human rights abuses, civil wars, internal strife, communal violence, forced relocation and natural disasters lead to the creation of refugees. While national governments are responsible for the protection of the basic human rights of their nationals, "refugees" find themselves without the protection of a national state. There is thus greater need for according international protection and assistance to these persons than in the case of people living in their home states. This paper notes that the original idea of refugee protection was good. But with time that well-celebrated history of law, policies and practice ceased to be in tandem with contemporary changes in the New Millennium especially with the impact of global processes such as economic globalisation has changed the scenario. Against this background, the present paper considers some of the basic human rights of refugees and their implications in the area of refugee protection. Besides, we will attempt to map new territory, bring together diverse perspectives, challenge conventional wisdom, and begin to cumulate research to address these questions and contradictions. This paper does not aim to introduce a new theory of globalization, but rather to identify generalizable patterns from diverse developments. In order to make sense of these developments, we must first consider the general trends of human rights and globalization. Then we can map patterns in the globalized development of human rights threats and opportunities. Also, we shall try and seek answers as to whether refugees have any human rights in this globalized world or if globalisation is human rights in itself. This paper will also attempt to identify the complexities and dilemmas in a developing country to effectively impede the realisation of effective refugee protection. In conclusion, an attempt is made to answer the question whether refugee protection today can be realised in the midst of the global processes and whether it is compatible with the international standards and principles of the Conventions. However, it should be borne in mind that many of the general concerns pertaining to human rights of refugees (especially the vulnerable groups such as women and children) are beyond the scope of this paper as the paper is severely limited by the scope of its concerns which pertains to examining the impact of globalisation on human rights protection of refugees in this new era and the need to reframe and reformulate them in this new context of threats and opportunities.
Human rights , Freedom , Refugee , Civil war , Globalisation , Developing countrues
Gopalkrishna, S. V. M. (2007). Forced to Flee and Nowhere to go in the Era of Globalisation: Impact on Human Rights of Refugees. Paper presented at the Joint International Conference on “Globalization: Migration, Citizenship and Identity” at University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.