"Human Rights and Expulsion: Giving Content to the Concept of Asylum"
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This paper explores the potential in granting asylum as a means of fulfilling a State's protection obligations. The nature and content of asylum are examined. Current practices for conferring refugee status under the 1951 Geneva Convention definition satisfy much of the nature and content of asylum granting. However, serious violations of obligations concerning the treatment of aliens on State territories occur, while questions of asylum or expulsion are being resolved. State treaty obligations concerning expulsion or transfer of persons to another State are examined. These obligations are met for the majority, but failure to honour obligations before expulsion for some people results in on-going violations of key human rights. Asylum is compared with other State responses to the obligations that qualify or condition the power of expulsion. The paper suggests potential benefits that would flow from clarity and greater coherence of asylum granting, using the particular situations of Canada and the United States to illustrate the role which asylum could play.