Privatization and Delegation of State Authority in Asylum Systems : Law & Ethics of Human Rights

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Law & Ethics of Human Rights

Editor-in-Chief: Stopler, Gila

Editorial Board Member: Benvenisti, Eyal / Cohen-Eliya, Moshe / Macedo, Stephen / Rosenblum, Nancy


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Privatization and Delegation of State Authority in Asylum Systems

Tally Kritzman-Amir1

1Academic Center of Law and Business,

Citation Information: Law & Ethics of Human Rights. Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 194–215, ISSN (Online) 1938-2545, DOI: 10.2202/1938-2545.1057, May 2011

Publication History

Published Online:
2011-05-01

One of the measures taken by states to relieve the burden of providing for asylum seekers and refugees is privatization and delegation of asylum regimes. I analyze the privatization and delegation of authority that is taking place within asylum systems and describe three tiers of privatization/delegation: 1. admission at points of entry or criminalization of undocumented entry, 2. status determination, 3. social integration and provision of social and economic rights and benefits. I then ask why states are privatizing and delegating authority within the context of asylum systems and argue that privatization and delegation of authority are intended to be used to maintain control and reduce immigration and integration of asylum seekers. Governments are often helpless in their attempts to manage refugee migration and need to recruit other sectors to assist them in regaining control over immigration. This “tool” is particularly instrumental as it allows governments to maintain—to a large extent—control of immigrations and at the same time distance themselves from their responsibilities, from human rights violations, etc. Governments attempt to have private or other actors carry out acts that they cannot—whether because of practical reasoning or due to legal constraints. Finally, I argue that asylums systems are a special locus; thus, special care, great caution, much regulation, or complete refrain from privatizing at all, is paramount since privatization of asylums systems carries unique and severe consequences.

Keywords: asylum seekers; refugees; delegation of authority; asylums; privitization

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