Between state sovereignty and invisibility: monitoring the human rights of returned asylum seekers

In few domains do states assert sovereignty as vigorously as in the control and regulation of borders and territory to migration movements. Moreover, such regulation is particularly evident in the case of asylum migration, often also considered a security threat to the state. This article explores the human rights of asylum seekers who are subject to removal and return from Western states. The article argues that these individuals can be left without rights through the practice of removal and return. The evident gap in establishing the legitimacy of return is seen in the absence of adequate monitoring of individuals after their removal from one state and return to another. The role of non-government organisations is explored as one of many ‘organisational actors’ necessary to a robust global human rights system.

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