The Global Compacts and the Future of Refugee and Migrant Protection in the Asia Pacific Region

Guy S Goodwin-Gill

International Journal of Refugee Law, 2019


The Asia Pacific region is generally under-represented in the 148 States that are now party to the Refugee Convention and/or the Protocol, even though historically it has played a significant role in receiving refugees and in contributing to solutions. The author argues that it is not so much a dearth of ratifications in the region that is the issue—many Asia Pacific States are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—as it is one of incorporation or practical implementation. There has long been a tendency to deal with the non-citizen arbitrarily. The author concludes that international conventions on the protection of refugees and migrants should have a future in the Asia Pacific region because they can provide States with clarity in determining national policy and practice, and if they are integrated into the new or reinvigorated schemes of practice proposed by the two Global Compacts, they can open avenues for protection and solutions as well as enhanced support for host communities.