The Eurocentricity of the Global Refugee Law Regime
Refugee frameworks that pre-existed the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol have mandated states to operate under the terms as set out by Eurocentric norms, which have continued to be the basis for the current refugee framework. This talk explores the marginalization of South Asian experiences of refugeehood and provides some insights into the alternate mechanisms of refugee protection that have been developed in response. While many scholars have called for South Asian nations to sign and ratify the 1951 Convention, the regional disillusionment to the Convention’s approach stems from a place which challenges the dominant narrative of refugee law. Examining alternate locations of practice, overlooked in the dominant legal framework, enables a more holistic understanding of the global refugee regime in a way that brings postcolonial states into the discussion.
Jay Ramasubramanyam is an Assistant Professor (Teaching) in the Law & Society Program at York University, Toronto. Professor Ramasubramanyam obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Law and Legal Studies and the Institute of Political Economy, at Carleton University. He is a global south migration researcher with expertise in forced migration, international refugee law, statelessness, third world approaches to international law, human rights, race and racialization, postcolonial theory, and
South Asian studies. His research explores the asymmetries of power, knowledge production and the ostensible legitimacy of norms in the field of refugee studies and refugee law.