‘All friends together…?’: International cooperation in the asylum field

9 February 2022, 1.00pm - 3.00pm

“Asylum after COVID-19: the UK ‘New Plan for Immigration’ in global context”

Refugee Law Initiative / Refugee Law Clinic

2021-22 Seminar Series

As uncertainty brought by COVID-19 intersects with shifting underlying political currents in society, some governments are pushing ‘new’ approaches to refugees and asylum. In the United Kingdom, this takes the form of the so-called ‘New Plan for Immigration’, a raft of legal and policy measures aimed principally at restricting protection and assistance for refugees and asylum-seekers.

This seminar series draws on a diverse range of perspectives from practitioners, researchers and affected persons to interrogate the law and politics of the New Plan in the global refugee context. The series aims to facilitate debate within both specialist and public circles in the UK and beyond about the legality and feasibility of approaches to asylum of the kind proposed by the New Plan. The RLI seminar series this year is run jointly with the University of London Refugee Law Clinic.


'All friends together...?': International cooperation in the asylum field

Strategies such as the UK ‘New Plan for Immigration’ seek to create pathways along which refugees are sent. On the one hand, the New Plan proposes to reopen resettlement schemes to move a small number of refugees to the UK from their first countries of asylum. But how this proposal relates to the recent mass evacuations from Afghanistan remains unclear. On the other, the policy proposes returning refugees and asylum-seekers to ‘safe third countries’ and elsewhere, and threatens visa controls on any country that does not accept returns. Such strategies rest on the idea of cooperation between these countries to send refugees and asylum-seekers in one direction or the other. 

This seminar interrogates these envisaged forms of international cooperation in the asylum field:


·       How have such strategies played out in the asylum and immigration practice of the UK and of countries in other parts of the world?

·       How do law and political realities (including COVID-19 and Brexit) help to shape the kinds of cooperation (and perhaps coercion) on which such strategies are premised?

·       What are the implications of such practices for refugee protection at the global level?


Led by Yuvan Aravindan (Refugee Law Clinic), discussants include:


·       Dr Nikolas Feith Tan, Danish Institute for Human Rights

·       Dr Meltem Ineli Ciger, International Law Department, Suleyman Demirel University

·       Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Glasgow

-    Dr Neelam Raina, Middlesex University London


Refugee Law Initiative
020 7862 8668