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Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

18. Human Rights and Forced Migration  

Gil Loescher

This chapter examines the link between human rights and forced migration. It first considers the human rights problems confronting forced migrants both during their flight and during their time in exile before discussing the differing definitions accorded refugees today as well as the difficulty in coming up with a widely accepted definition. It then explores the roles and functions of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the international refugee regime. It also uses the case study of Myanmar to illustrate many of the human rights features of a protracted refugee and internal displacement crisis. Finally, it describes how the international community might respond to new and emerging challenges in forced migration and world politics, and better adapt to the ongoing tension between the power and interests of states and upholding refugee rights.