What is the right to asylum and why are people crossing the Med?

This episode starts with a debate on the right to asylum and Europe’s response to the refugee crisis between Professor David Owen and David Goodhart, followed by an interview with Professor Heaven Crawley on new research on who is crossing the Mediterranean to Europe and why.

Europe’s bluff has been called. The EU has broadened and broadened the criteria under which people can come here. It didn’t really matter when people were locked away in prison states like Iraq and Syria. Now the prisons are open.

David Goodhart

David Goodhart is the director of the Integration Hub and former director of Demos. David Owen is Professor in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

Whereas David Owen puts forward the view that the entire world order of states suffers a legitimacy problem when refugees go unprotected, David Goodhart argues that it is a fantasy to talk about people having human rights when their own states are not protecting them.

Yes, we need a system of global refugee protection in place. We don’t have it. Now the question is what do we do under the present conditions. It is perfectly right that those who come to Europe get protection here.

David Owen

David Owen has made his argument about justice in international refugee protection in a recent contribution to a new book on the ethics of migration and here. David Goodhart has debated the issue here and here.

People who maybe moved to Libya for work have found themselves being caught up in a lawless situation where they effectively turn into refugees. So this idea that people are either economic migrants or refugees is challenged by our evidence.

Heaven Crawley

Heaven Crawley is Professor is chair in International Migration at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She leads the research project MEDMIG: Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis, which she tells us about in this episode [33 minutes in]. Their first findings show that there is an increasing number of families travelling from Turkey to Greece and that people have mixed motivations for making the journeys. To read the full research briefing click here.

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