Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2000


Western nations have struggled to accomplish the dual goals of refugee and asylum policies: (1) identifying and protecting Convention refugees as well as those fleeing civil conflict; and (2) controlling for abuse. The Workshop on Refugee and Asylum Policy in Practice in Europe and North America was organized to facilitate a transatlantic dialogue to explore just how well these asylum systems are balancing the dual goals. The workshop exa!llined key elements of the U.S. and European asylum systems: decision making on claims, deterrence of abuse, independent review, return of rejected asylum seekers, scope of the refugee concept, social rights and employment, international cooperation, and data and evaluation.

The Workshop was convened by the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) of Georgetown University and the Center for the Study of Immigration, Integration and Citizenship Policies (CEPIC) of the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique, with the support of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. It was held on July 1-3, 1999, at Oxford University. Workshop participants included government officials, scholars, and representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) actively involved in analyzing and implementing refugee and asylum policies.

This report outlines the major points of discussion and the areas of consensus at the Workshop, and emphasizes the issues in need of further analysis and agreement. Through this report, the Workshop seeks to encourage further discussion on refugee and asylum policies in practice in order to clarify, develop, and improve the existing mechanisms for protection.

Publication Citation

Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 801.