ADMIGOV Deliverable 4.4 2022

Protection beyond legal-centrism and containment

Fecha de publicación:
Polly Pallister-Wilkins and Evthymios Papataxiarchis

ADMIGOV Deliverable 4.4 (2022)

This final report on the protection of displaced people focuses on three country cases, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece employing a bottom-up perspective to study how protection is practiced on the ground and in the everyday. In this report we highlight the limits of relying on the application of legal status for the provision of protection for displaced people as it ignores access to basic needs. Access to legal status that ensures access to human rights and freedoms — and not a minimalist legal status — remains important for the future security of displaced people, however, we show how an overdetermined focus on the legal status of displaced people in lieu of additional forms of protection focused on basic needs, as well as the provision of minimalist legal status with specific conditions attached that curtail rights and freedoms can engender additional harm to displaced people. In this report we focus on three main gaps in protection related to this legal-centrism. One, ‘systemic’ gaps in the normative and legal framework of protection such as failures to address basic needs because they fall outside of these norms and laws. Two, ‘political’ gaps stemming from the discretionary interpretation of legal/normative protection frameworks by political actors, states and the EU, and their subsequent application of strategies including containment, incarceration, and criminalization that put state security above the well-being of people. Three, ‘conjunctural’ gaps relating to the particular historical circumstances, such as the recent EU/Greek-Turkish border crisis, which provide additional motivation for the application of ad hoc legal categorization of displaced people and justify the violation of international protection norms.