While many of us in the refugee protection community have traditionally seen temporary protection as something to be resisted, I believe that temporary protection could, in contrast, be a profoundly important part of a solution to the international refugee protection crisis. To make my argument that the right kind of temporary protection could be an important means to give new life to international refugee protection, I will briefly address three issues. First, I would like to suggest why it is that states around the world, in the North and increasingly in the South as well, are refusing the live up to their international legal duties to refugees. Second, I will argue that two kinds of reform are vital if refugee protection is to survive, and hopefully to prosper: the system of refugee protection must embrace a more collectivised system of state responsibility toward refugees, and it must become seriously solution-oriented. Third, I will sketch the basic elements of a rights-regarding and solutionoriented approach to the temporary protection of refugees, which I believe should be at the heart of this reform of the mechanisms of international refugee law. The temporary protection which I see as part of a solution is not the same as the temporary protection practised in so many countries today, which is often not temporary but indefinitely prolonged, and less about protection than it is an excuse to warehouse and to deny the human dignity of involuntary migrants.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Hathaway, James C. "Temporary Protection of Refugees: Threat or Solution?" In Perspective on Refugee Protection in South Africa, edited by J. Handmaker et al., 41-9. Pretoria, South Africa: Lawyers for Human Rights, 2001.