On the Refugee Crisis Discourse: A Critical Analysis Sitting in the Junction of International Criminal Law and International Refugee LawEkin Deniz Uzun
This Article critically explores the close relationship between the discourse of the refugee crisis phenomenon and inattentive state policies against refugees. Various reproduced political approaches of states appearing as a result of ‘how to deal with refugee crisis’ concern across the world are exemplified to this end. In this light, it is asked whether certain forms of abuse occur due to the states’ way of regulating refugees’ asylum, and whether the process can be elevated to the level of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute. The goal is to understand this issue by involving international criminal law and in connecting it to the International Criminal Court to determine whether states can be precluded from creating an environment that possibly leaves refugees vulnerable to both physical and sexual abuse, e.g., in detention centers or refugee camps. In relation to that, it is also expounded in what ways the refugee crisis as a produced concept by the conservative propaganda configures the attitude of both individuals and policy makers towards refugees. The adverse image, that is portrayed for refugees, effects negatively not only on the public view but also normalizes states’ othering attitude when it comes to responding and regulating the movements of outsiders. In this direction, the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Rome Statue, and some other relevant international legal instruments are taken into account to examine the perpetrated violence employed by states through their policies against refugees. Drawing upon this dispute, evil wrongdoers, victimhood and refugee person as homo sacer are conceptualized alongside the crisis narrative throughout this Article, both from a philosophical and socio-legal standpoint.
Mülteci Krizi Söylemi Üzerine: Uluslararası Ceza Hukuku ve Uluslararası Mülteci Hukuku’nun Kesişim Noktasına Oturan Kritik Bir İncelemeEkin Deniz Uzun
Bu makale, mülteci krizi olgusu söylemi ile mültecilere karşı istismarcı devlet politikaları arasındaki yakın ilişkiyi inceler. ‘Mülteci krizi ile nasıl başa çıkılacağı’ endişesinin bir sonucu olarak ortaya çıkan devlet politikaları bu amacı açıklamak amacıyla örnek oluşturmaları itibariyle makale kapsamında incelenir. Bu bağlamda, bazı devletlerin mültecilerin iltica başvuru sürecine ilişkin getirdikleri işleyiş dolayısıyla ortaya çıkan istismarcı muamelelerinin, Roma Statüsü uyarınca insanlığa karşı işlenen suçlar düzeyinde değerlendirilip değerlendirilemeyeceği sorgulanmaktadır. Amaç, uluslararası ceza hukukunun sürece dahil edilmesiyle, Uluslararası Ceza Mahkemesi’nin devletlerin mültecileri hem fiziksel hem de cinsel istismara karşı savunmasız bırakabilecek bir ortam yaratmasının engellenip engellenemeyeceğini anlamaktır. Muhafazakar propaganda tarafından üretilen bir kavram olarak mülteci krizinin hem bireylerin hem de politikacıların mültecilere karşı tutumunu nasıl yapılandırdığı da bu çerçevede açıklanır. Mülteciler için tasvir edilen olumsuz imaj, sadece kamuoyunun görüşünü negatif yönde etkilemekle kalmamakta, aynı zamanda ‘yabancıların’ ülkeye giriş çıkışlarını düzenlemek konusunda devletlerin istismarcı tutumlarını da normalleştirmektedir. Bu doğrultuda, 1951 Mülteci Sözleşmesi, Roma Statüsü ve diğer bazı ilgili uluslararası yasal belgeler, mültecilere yönelik politikalar eliyle devletlerin onlara karşı uyguladığı şiddeti incelemede dikkate alınmıştır. Tüm bu tartışmalar etrafında, haksızlık eden kimseler/kurumlar, mağduriyet ve homo sacer olgusu bağlamında mülteci kavramları, kriz söylemi etrafında, hem felsefi hem de sosyo-legal açılarından kavramsallaştırılarak incelenmiştir.
This study looks at refugee crisis discourse through the lens of international criminal law (ICL) and international refugee law (IRL) by asking the following question and raising following concerns respectively: in what ways the crisis, refugee and victimhood phenomena describe mass human movement in the modern world. As we get more attached to see violence in the news ranging from racism to armed conflict, it is sought to answer whether we also reflect this rage on refugees by marginalizing them in the end. In order to get some sense on this question, the role of conservative discourse and its extended state policies are analyzed to understand how they seed a negative image in the collective memory of societies about refugees. It is set to identify the problem that this created collective memory discerns refugees as evil wrong doers who breach every right possible that are attributed to states. This also justifies states’ way of crushing refugees bodily and spiritually to obstruct future refugees from arriving on their soils. The presented mindset herein also absolves states from abusive acts of their agents. In that we are conditioned to conclude that mistreatment of refugees is not grave enough to be considered within the context of crimes against humanity for instance; even though requirements for this international crime are present. Indeed, some scholars and public figures have taken action to get the International Criminal Court (ICC) involve holding governments and state agents responsible from their atrocious methods employed against refugees. However, in consideration of the major incidents and recent developments including failed correspondences with the ICC Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) in this regard, this Article asks whether international criminal law can really resolve the consequences of refugee crisis discourse at the end of the day.
In pursuance of this question respectively the rhetoric of refugee crisis and its consequences are discussed both from a philosophical and legal standpoint. The evil nature of overwhelming incidents -constituting the misery of refugees in the hands of state of asylum- keep surfacing through news media and academic discussions, which have triggered an urge in international community to find a solution to these sequential matters. Some leading books have been written in respect to the consequential effects of refugee crisis discourse, to name a few: Solidarity and ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe by Óscar García Agustín and Martin Bak Jørgensen; Asylum Seekers, Sovereignty, and the Senses of the International edited by Jenny Edkins and Nick Vaughan-Williams; Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the Contemporary World by David J.Whittaker; Refuge Transforming A Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier. The crimes against humanity aspect of cruel treatment against refugees have been analysed by Ioannis Kalpouzos, Itamar Mann, Kevin Jon Heller and some other researchers cited within the context of this Article too. Merging all of these analyses and real-world examples, this study agrees that even if the elements of crimes against humanity come together with respect to treatment against refugees, still states will be reluctant to take refugee protection measures more seriously, if there are no consequences for not reducing any form of violence. Indeed recent correspondences with the OTP have shown that it is the ICC that is hesitant to pursue further investigation on related matters in the first place; for instance what has been going on in the Australian offshore detention centers. This Article in this respect looks at the incidents in which people escape from persecution due to race, religion, armed conflict, international crimes etc, and are victimized further due to receiving states’ atrocious conducts. This aspect brings together two disciplines of international law -namely ICL and IRL- to find solution whether inattentive states’ policies, get shaped/influenced by refugee crisis discourse, can be eliminated. As is concluded in the final part of this Article, recent examples and research prove us that as long as influential institutions, in particular ICC, remain silent on the face of growing discriminative politics, these countries who other ‘outsiders’ without having extrinsic pressure on them to refrain from any abusive treatments, will continue to get away with their legislations and policies in their limits and powers that will help and encourage these states to keep refugees out.