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Cover International Law

26. International Refugee and Migration Law  

Geoff Gilbert and Anna Magdalena Rüsch

This chapter explores the definition of refugee status in international law, its scope and limitations and consequent protection gaps for those forcibly displaced, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), who have crossed no international border. There is no equivalent definition for migrants, but like refugees, asylum-seekers, and IDPs, international human rights law provides a framework for their protection. The chapter explains the difference between refugee status and asylum, focusing on non-refoulement in international law. It discusses the rights that are guaranteed during displacement, particularly those pertaining to detention and humanitarian relief. Given that refugee status is intended to be temporary, the final section looks at cessation and durable solutions, either following voluntary return, through local integration, or resettlement in some third State.