Safe Third Country Practices as a Tool for Containment of Human Mobility

Thursday, April 11, 2024 12:30to14:00
Old Chancellor Day Hall Room 16
event flyer

The “safe third country” concept emerged in the global asylum governance scene in the late 1980s as an effort to prevent secondary movement of refugees, after they flee persecution and find safety at the closest instance possible. Despite being promoted as a responsibility-sharing tool by its proponents, in reality, safe third country practices aggravate the rights violations that refugees face and obstruct their access to asylum. This talk offers a comparative analysis of safe third country practices in the EU-Turkey and Canada-USA contexts, especially in consideration of the recent amendment of Canada-USA Safe Third Country Agreement in 2023. The comparison is based on dynamics surrounding the two asylum spaces and impacts of safe third country practices on mobility trajectories. Parallel efforts in the Global North demonstrate a common pattern in the global asylum regime towards reinforced containment of human mobility.

Speaker: Gamze Ovacık, Steinberg Postdoctoral Fellow on Migration Law at McGill University Faculty of Law and at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

Discussant: Audrey Macklin, Professor and Rebecca Cook Chair in Human Rights Law at University of Toronto Faculty of Law

Chair: Megan Bradley, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar at McGill University Department of Political Science and Institute for the Study of International Development, Coordinator of McGill Refugee Research Group

Co-sponsored by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the McGill Refugee Research Group


Gamze Ovacık is the Steinberg Postdoctoral Fellow on Migration Law at McGill University Faculty of Law and at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, as well as an assistant professor at Başkent University Faculty of Law. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Gothenburg within the ASILE Project on global asylum governance and the European Union’s role. She has been working with UNHCR, IOM and ICMPD Turkey offices on various projects. Her current research within the migration and asylum field focuses on safe third country practices, externalization policies, legal responsibility attribution and judicial practices.

Audrey Macklin is a professor and Rebecca Cook Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She holds law degrees from Yale University and University of Toronto. She previously served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, a faculty member at Dalhousie Law School and a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Professor Macklin’s teaching areas include criminal law, administrative law, and immigration and refugee law. Her research and writing interests include transnational migration, citizenship, forced migration, feminist and cultural analysis, and human rights.

Please register at chrlp.law [at] mcgill.ca 

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