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Refugees in Europe: The Hostile New Agenda

1 March 1997

The refugee question has become one of the major international political issues of the twentieth century. Although refugees represent only a very small percentage of Europe’s population, a new battery of policies are being introduced to limit these numbers of even further; creating barriers to the internationally recognized right to asylum.These increasingly restrictive measures, introduced under the cloak of European harmonization, include the trend towards ‘temporary protection’ particularly for those fleeing the war in former Yugoslavia – with the intention of returning the person as soon as conditions allow. Furthermore, asylum-seekers face long periods of detention in poor conditions, and prohibition on employment, welfare, and freedom of movement and limitations on family reunions.

Please note that the terminology in the fields of minority rights and indigenous peoples’ rights has changed over time. MRG strives to reflect these changes as well as respect the right to self-identification on the part of minorities and indigenous peoples. At the same time, after over 50 years’ work, we know that our archive is of considerable interest to activists and researchers. Therefore, we make available as much of our back catalogue as possible, while being aware that the language used may not reflect current thinking on these issues.

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Danièle Joly

Lynette Kelly

Clive Nettleton