The Confluence Between COVID-19 and Informal Externalisation Agreements and the Precarious State of the Right to Seek Asylum
Keywords:Asylum, COVID-19, externalisation, informal agreements, transit states
The swift closure of international borders with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the right to seek asylum in a precarious position. The paper questions the impact of COVID-19 on the right to seek asylum in the face of the informal externalisation agreements (IEA) concluded by the European Union (EU) Border States and other destination states to shift border management to neighbouring transit states. The paper argues that IEA marginalised the right to seek asylum well before the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic's impact on the right to seek asylum, per se, is temporal, which can be defused through enhanced procedural measures. However, in the long run, COVID-19 provides an alibi to the Border States to further externalise asylum and migration controls through IEA. Thereby, COVID-19, along with IEA, is highly likely to make the right to seek asylum obsolete.
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Published by Transnational Press London