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55

Generally speaking you can always seek asylum, the question is what happens to you afterwards. For what it's worth, North Korea is not a party to the main UN Convention about refugees. So it's not clear whether it recognises the concept at all and it is under no obligation to provide protection to anybody. And even under a generous interpretation of the ...


49

Yes, they have accepted some. Wikipedia lists people from South Korea and the USA, including deserters from the Korean War (there is a British soldier included), for example. Of course, that does not mean that they would accept anybody approaching them.


32

what international law(s) are at play here? In the case of Assange being removed from the Ecuadorian embassy with the consent of the ambassador -- only the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Subsequent likely proceedings are not covered in this answer but, for example, the Universal Decaration on Human Rights can apply to extradition proceedings. ...


28

First let's take a look at the definition of the word Realpolitik: Politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives Under that definition there are two possible reasons: Avoiding a situation where European soldiers/border guards shoot unarmed men, women and children Helping prevent further destabilization ...


24

You can read about the last one who tried: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Todd_Miller An American guy went there as a tourist, destroyed his passport and asked for asylum. His claim was deemed (rightly) bogus by North Korea and he was sent to jail with a 8 years sentence until US succeeded to negotiate his return. This seems to be the most likely ...


17

The obvious candidate treaty is the 1951 Refugee Convention, of which Ecuador seems to be a contracting party. This has at least two relevant articles, dealing with expulsion in general, and return specifically. Article 32: Expulsion The Contracting States shall not expel a refugee lawfully in their territory save on grounds of national security or public ...


13

The situation in international law is that sovereign states can exercise sovereignty within their borders, subject to treaty obligations. This means that there is no automatic right for regions to secede, as regions are not sovereign. There is a treaty obligation to grant refuge and asylum under the Refugee convention of 1951. This requires that people be ...


11

TL;DR: Europe is a) merely being pragmatic about the situation and b) acting in its long-term self-interest. First off, keep the numbers in perspective. However massive the recent influx of migrants looked to European eyes, the scale of the problem is even larger. Arab countries are dealing with an order of magnitude more migrants than Europe. Next, ...


11

The right to asylum is an inherently moral issue, and removing that aspect of it is nonsensical. But as that is your question: Ignoring the countless moral arguments, there are a couple of realpolitik benefits that are sometimes named. Direct benefits to the country taking refugees: Increased economic growth (German source): Refugees do not save up any ...


11

Assange was a citizen of Ecuador (at least until Ecuador decided to stop protecting him), so the only law that applies to Ecuador's decision to allow the UK to arrest him in Ecuador's embassy is the national law of Ecuador. International law is irrelevant. Even if the 1951 refugee convention ever applied to him, which is doubtful, it would have ceased to ...


11

The difference is where you are. There is no contradiction. In the country you are fleeing from, you are a deserter. In the country you are fleeing to, you are an asylum seeker. The same is true for many other reasons people flee governments. E.g. if you say things the ruler dislikes, you are a "subversive dissident" to that country, and would be ...


10

Since Russia has recently announced they're withdrawing a part of their troops and most of the non-Kurdish regions are now under Assad's control, it's clear that the 7 year war is coming to an end with a clear victory by the ruling government party. This statement overstates the extent to which the Syrian Civil War is over, or nearly over. There are ...


9

First of all, many countries have open or semi-open immigration policies. My answer here lists countries with most open policies. You merely need a small (by Western standards) guaranteed income to immigrate without any reasons. Putin officially told European Jewish Congress that he welcomes European Jews fleeing anti-Semitism in Europe into Russia. I would ...


9

French Jews are not able to emigrate to Israel on the basis of being under threat of hate crime. They are able to Emigrate as Jewish People. Israel has a law which allows for most Jewish people to immigrate, regardless of their asylum status. I'm not aware of any countries that are considering or have accepted French refugees. Of course it is hard to prove ...


8

Ecuador doesn't have much to gain by Julian Assange's continued presence in the embassy but it would severely damage their reputation internationally if they reneged on their offer of asylum and expelled him. Indeed, they have recently granted him citizenship, which only increases their moral obligations to him. I don't believe that they imagined the stand-...


8

The official message of the Turnbull government is that the “Pacific solution” is intended to discourage the dangerous passage by sea and undermine criminal networks making money out of it. In that context, it makes sense to provide an alternative. The message is “don't waste money on a risky passage, go through the legal route instead”. On the flip side, it'...


8

There are, it's called “resettlement” and the process is administered by the UNHCR, directly in the refugee camps where most refugees are. In 2014, Germany, Sweden, and Norway accepted around 2000 resettlement applications each, Finland, the UK, and France around 1000. There is also a European programme to push member states to accept more and the numbers ...


7

The main international law governing refugees is the 1951 Refugee Convention. The majority of the nations in the world have signed this treaty (and/or its 1967 Protocol); notable exceptions include most of the Middle East, and most of South and Southeast Asia. (As to your example, Japan has signed it.) The full text of the treaty can be found at the ...


7

The convention has no enforcement mechanism of any kind, states can (and do) easily ignore it and many also have pretty funky reservations (as an example with some relevance today, note that Turkey stipulated it only intends to apply the 1951 convention to European refugees). So the convention only serves as a kind of self-commitment device and simply ...


7

Your posting mixes advocacy and questions. Non-refoulement does not allow a refugee to cross as many borders as he or she likes. It requires the refugee to be processed and housed at the first safe country. Calling Turkey safe may be debatable, but it is clearly much safer than Syria, and it is the official position of the EU that Turkey is safe for Syrians ...


6

Refugees have been returning to Syria throughout 2017. According to a UN refugee agency (UNHCR) report, quoted in a BBC article from 2017.06.30, 500, 000 Syrian refugees returned to their homes in the first half of 2017. Of those 440,000 were internally displaced and 31,000 returned from abroad. A quoted UNHCR spokesman said there is a “notable trend of ...


6

There are several factors at work. Much of Europe has a low birth rate and an aging population. It needs more young people when the currently working generation heads to retirement homes. This calls for a "selfish" immigration policy, letting in engineers, nurses, etc. After WWII, a ruined Germany took in some 12 million refugees from the East, mostly ...


6

Yes, it can happen. One example is Denise Harvey, a citizen of the USA who was given asylum in Canada in 2014. Harvey had been convicted of having sex with a 16 year-old boy, which was a crime in her home state of Florida but not in Canada: Her request for protected person status was heard by the Immigration Review Board (IRB) in July of 2012 and the IRB ...


6

The EU Directorate Eurostat collates and analyses statistics across the EU-28, including statistics on decisions on asylum applications. Unfortunately they don't seem to have processed results precisely in line with your question, but they have produced a series of quarterly reports which include statistics on the outcome of first applications, broken down ...


6

Draft Evasion is not the same as a Criminal act of Desertion from a legal standpoint. Draft Evasion is a method of avoiding conscription prior to being brought into the military, whereas Desertion is when someone who is already in the military leaves his/her post with intent to not return. This is important as, during the Vietnam war, Canada was under no ...


6

Fortunately there's an excellent recent Parliamentary briefing note on this subject. The number of applications is between 17,000 and 30,000 per year. They are forbidden from working, so they are paid £37.75 a week and assigned housing. At the end of December 2018, there were 44,258 asylum seekers receiving this support in the UK, of whom 41,309 were ...


5

The EU is basically pushing for any plan to distribute refugees between member states (and not specifically targeting this or that country) for multiple reasons: To deal with the sheer magnitude of the Syrian refugee crisis and the great unbalance between destination countries. According to Wikipedia, Frontex counted 1.8M irregular entries in 2015, that's ...


5

I don't believe that anything which isn't politically trivial can be without controversy, depending on your definition of what controversy is. If fringe (or not-so-fringe) ethnic nationalist parties or groups kicking up a fuss about refugees amounts to controversy, then any non-trivial amount of refugees will result in that happening. In basically every ...


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