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Asylum for Containment: EU Cooperation with Tunisia and Turkey for the Externalization of Asylum

Vendredi, 22 mars, 2024 10:00à11:30
New Chancellor Day Hall Room 102 Donald E. Meehan Classroom
Event flyer

Hybrid panel discussion Co-sponsored by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the ASILE Project


European Union has intensified its cooperation with third countries in the field of asylum and migration and provides support for asylum systems in Tunisia and Turkey through a range of instruments including technical means (advice, training, capacity building), operational assistance (such as Frontex operations) as well as financial support for refugee status determination, refugee reception, migration and border management. In this panel discussion specific focus is given to the instruments’ compliance with transparency and accountability principles and international law, the extent to which the results achieved have been oriented towards facilitating mobility or the containment of asylum seekers and refugees, as well as their alignment with the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). The analysis is based on the field research conducted within ASILE Project in selected countries including Tunisia and Turkey. These different case studies allow for the identification of fundamental challenges of European external asylum and migration policy which are not specific to just one third country.


Thomas Spijkerboer, Full Professor of Migration Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Faculty of Law

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

Hiba Sha’ath, PhD Researcher at the Department of Geography at York University

Chair: François Crépeau, Full Professor at McGill University Faculty of Law

Thomas Spijkerboer is professor of Migration Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, part of the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law and one of the teachers of the master’s programme International Migration and Refugee Law. Thomas is the leader of the work package on EU Arrangements with Third Countries within the ASILE Project on global asylum governance and the EU's role funded by European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. He is coordinating the research on Tunisia, Turkey, Niger and Serbia and co-authored country reports and the synthesis report together with national researchers. In 2017-2020, he was Raoul Wallenberg professor of international human rights and humanitarian law at Lund University (Sweden), in 2020-2021 International Franqui professor at Ghent University (Belgium), and in September-December 2022 visiting researcher at the Institut de recherche en droit international et européen de la Sorbonne in Paris (France). He has published extensively on the European refugee crisis, the Balkan route and the EU-Turkey statement, both in international academic journals and in blogs.

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 and she co-authored the Turkey country report. Gamze was a visiting researcher at Radboud University Centre for Migration Law in 2019. 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.

Hiba Sha’ath is a doctoral candidate in critical human geography at York University, a graduate research fellow at the Centre for Refugee Studies, and a Global Data and Insights fellow at the Wikimedia Foundation. Hiba has co-authored the Tunisia country report within the ASILE Project. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked as an analysis and reporting officer with IOM Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, and with the IOM’s Regional Office in West and Central Africa. More recently, she has co-led an external evaluation of IOM’s Regional Development and Protection Programme for North Africa. Hiba obtained her MSc. in Migration, Mobility and Development from SOAS, University of London.

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