Temporary protection as a durable solution? The "return turn" in asylum policies in Europe

Project: Research

Project Details


In reaction to the high numbers of refugee arrivals in 2015, European countries have introduced a range of new and enhanced temporary protection policies. These include introducing special categories of group-based protection, downgrading existing status to reduce entitlements, and introducing protection reviews that require refugees to prove their right to remain on a regular basis. In Norway, the government has argued that such measures are integral to a sustainable and credible asylum system, which should not guarantee protection for any longer than needed. Temporary protection policies create unique challenges for the inclusion of refugees in receiving communities, and for the welfare system more broadly. Refugees with temporary status often come from fragile states and are unlikely, for a number of reasons, to actually return in the near future. This project explores the effects of temporary protection policies on refugee law and refugee lives in Norway, Denmark, and the UK. By investigating how (primarily) post-2015 policies change the parameters of protection for Afghans, Somalis and Syrians, the project will produce evidence related to (1) the ways in which temporality is produced through changes to national refugee policies, (2) how these policies interact with facets of the welfare state designed to promote integration, and (3) how temporary status affects how refugees manage the competing demands of settling in Europe and planning for an eventual return. Evidence from this project will inform policy dialogue concerning the tensions and tradeoffs that temporary protection policies involve, in Norway and elsewhere in Europe. It will also critically assess these developments in light of European and international refugee law.
Effective start/end date01/09/202031/08/2024


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