The Right to Asylum: A Case Study with Particular Reference to Somali and Eritrean Asylum-seekers and Refugees in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


A number of factors led to the gestation of this research into a relatively less developed jurisprudential area of human rights law: The right to asylum fortified by the right of non-refoulement. The first factor is the survival instinct which is shared by all humanity including myself and which is gradually gaining importance and stipulated in to jurisprudence. It is this factor to a varied degree that continuously derives people. This natural tendency of ensuring survival and perpetuation by avoiding pain and seeking pleasure leads people to move across the globe. This is typically manifested in forced displacement. Within that still broad category one finds refugees who are in need of international protection because of plight caused by serious threat to their life, liberty or security of person and violation of other fundamental human rights in their country of origin. The second motivating factor is the objective current Political dynamism in the Horn of Africa .The recent escalation of the crisis in Somalia and the human rights situation in Eritrea has driven a significant number of refugees into Ethiopia. Due to its location, Ethiopia cannot escape the reverberations from the contemporary political uncertainty in the region that calls for this timely work. This case study is a key to a true appreciation and understanding of the plight of these protection seekers, the situation of their rights in practice in light of the legal and procedural standards required for the treatment of persons seeking asylum in Ethiopia derive from fundamental respect for the dignity of the individual and from the legal obligations undertaken by governments by virtue of accession to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1969 OAU Convention, other relevant international human rights instruments and the national law on asylum- a reflection on Ethiopia’s heritage of providing sanctuary- unfortunately very little known to Ethiopians.



gestation of this research into a relatively, less developed jurisprudential area