Touching on the laws and practices of a wide array of countries around the globe, this book examines the extent to which refugees and asylum-seekers’ right to work is protected by international human rights law. The book examines a number of key international treaties, national constitutions and some foundational cases from national courts in order to make the case that the practise of restricting refugees and asylum-seekers access to the labour market is illegal. In so doing, the author examines some intricate legal questions, such as the interpretation of the Refugee Convention’s provisions restricting rights to refugees ‘lawfully staying’, the application of racial discrimination to citizenship distinctions, and the ways in which limitations on human rights are applicable in this context. The book also looks at some broader philosophical questions such as the meaning of equality and human dignity, and the legitimacy of the right to work. The book goes on to explore broader debates concerning migration and ‘open borders’ in order to unpack the fears that drive many countries’ restrictive measures. Readers are invited to consider whether the world would be a better place with more freedom of movement. It is a unique stand-alone treatment of the subject and includes the Michigan Guidelines on the Right to Work.
Reworking the Relationship between Asylum-Seekers and Employment is written in an accessible style that will appeal to academics, policy-makers, practitioners and students. It combines a strong black-letter approach with a law in context approach that explains why the law takes its current shape and questions current orthodoxy.
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Penelope Mathew holds the Freilich Foundation Chair at the Australian National University. Her primary research interests are international law, human rights law, refugee law and feminist theory. She has published widely in the area of refugee law.
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