This paper examines the growing literature, in both refugee and oustee studies, that explores the application of rights-based approaches to forced migration. Introducing a rights regime to both oustee and refugee issues has the potential to overturn the injustices encountered by refugees and oustees, protect them from the violations of basic rights that they encounter almost daily, while also awarding them with the agency to shape their life choices around settlements, livelihoods and social networks in their new homes. The paper explores issues around responsibility, potential problems around universality and enforceability, and concludes by proposing a research agenda based on the existing gaps in the literature.
The authors begin by spelling out the similarities and differences in refugee and oustee studies and then go on to explore the literature highlighting the inadequacy of needs-based approaches and the problems with top-down settlement schemes. The paper then reviews the literature that seeks to understand local struggles around rights and discusses why some oustees/refugees either opt for self-settlement or resistance. The paper then discusses universalist frameworks and tensions in their application. It concludes by raising challenges for future research.
WP-T4, Sussex, UK, DRC on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, 46 pp.