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Authors: Marko Valenta and Jo Jakobsen

This article focuses on the migration of people from Syria after the outbreak of the civil war. The ambition of the article is to develop and nuance the typology of migrations of Syrians and relate the categories of international migrants to their rights, as provided by various reception regimes. The proposed typologies may help us better to understand the complexity of the migrations and the inconsistencies in reception and humanitarian standards. We argue that migration trends, reception regimes and the positioning of the Syrian refugees and migrants are highly interconnected and dynamic factors, resulting in different regular and irregular flows and migrant statuses. Furthermore, it is maintained that the management of the Syrian humanitarian and refugee crisis has revealed – and probably more so than any other, comparable event – the variety of inconsistencies in migration and protection policies and the widespread lack of will for more equitable burden-sharing.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Federica Prina

This article analyses the Russian government’s securitisation of inter-ethnic relations, and national minorities’ responses to such processes. While Russia’s securitising dynamics have been linked to threats associated with ethnic groups (perceived as) culturally distant from the Russian majority (such as non-Slavic and Muslim minorities), this article argues that securitisation can affect all of Russia’s national minorities (including Slavic and well-integrated communities). Through the analysis of the securitisation of three, partly converging, spheres of domestic politics (civil society, migration, and minority issues) the article highlights forms of (in)security impacting upon national minorities with reference to their experience of securitisation and format of their civic engagement. The article contributes to research exploring the relationship between security and minority studies, through a bottom-up perspective focusing on national minorities’ experience of securitisation. It employs empirical data based on semi-structured interviews with minority representatives held in 2015–2016 in six locations in the Russian Federation.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

There are worrying signs of rising intolerance towards Muslim immigrants in the majority of European societies. We use data from the 2014/2015 wave of European Social Survey to analyse negative attitudes toward Muslim immigrants in France, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic. Results of the analyses reveal that both levels and determinants of the anti-Muslim attitudes vary greatly. The levels are highest in Czech Republic and Poland, the two countries that have a very low Muslim population. Nevertheless, contact with immigrants reduces hostility toward Muslims also in these two countries. We find that theoretical approaches commonly used in studies of anti-immigrant attitudes are better suited to explain negative attitudes in Western European than in Eastern European countries. We argue that future research on hostility toward immigrants in Europe should focus more on Eastern European countries, as attitudes toward immigrants in several of these are worryingly negative.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

The French law for the reconquest of biodiversity aims to transpose the Nagoya Protocol into national law. Rather than supporting the notion of an autochthonous and local community or even taking into account the autochthonous character of the concept of a local community, the legislature has chosen to use the notion of a community of inhabitants. The notion of local community, which is specific to environmental law, nevertheless satisfies the requirements of constitutional jurisprudence, as it does not consist of a community of origin, culture, language or belief. Beyond the logic inherent in the Law of 8 August 2016, the recognition of local communities, which is at the heart of the mechanism for sharing access and benefits, could make it possible to correct the multiple shortcomings, in terms of access to both genetic resources and traditional knowledge, associated with the sharing of the benefits that result from their use.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The Rohingya community in Myanmar has been the subject of persecution and violent attacks that have forced them to flee the country and to take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh several times in history. The latest wave of conflict-led displacement in August 2017 forced nearly a million Rohingya ethnic minorities to take refuge in Bangladesh. However, this time, a small number of Hindu Rohingya refugees also arrived in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. As they are small in number and considered insignificant by the international community, the attention on them has long been minimal. This study constitutes an exploratory research endeavour using qualitative research methodologies. It aims to reveal the main reasons behind their exodus, migration journey and refugee life in Bangladesh.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

This article examines customary institutions governing rangeland resources in the Oromia Region, Ethiopia. Using data from different pastoral groups, we employed a case-study approach to explore how property rights are defined and enforced. The study indicates heterogeneity in systems of defining and enforcing rights. Due to the fugitive nature of resource use in pastoral systems, property rights vary seasonally. Though flexibility in the definition of such rights has become central to the survival of pastoral herders, formal administrative boundaries and policies have limited resource access, becoming sources of violent conflict and obstacle to customary systems. Government policies favouring private land use, expansion of large-scale investment on pastoral land, establishment of national parks, and certification of privately used land challenged the smooth functioning of customary land governance. This implies that state intervention should not undermine customary systems but permit them to exercise rangeland governance and ensure pastoral rights to secure livelihoods.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Mohit Gupta

The Convention on Biological Diversity (cbd) was adopted in 1992. This Convention had three major objectives: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its component, and access and benefit sharing of biological resources arising out of their utilisation. The Nagoya Protocol to the cbd was adopted in 2010 for the fulfilment of the third objective of the cbd, access and benefit sharing. Article 7 of the Nagoya Protocol imposes an obligation on states parties to ensure that “prior and informed consent or approval or involvement” of the indigenous and local communities is taken before their knowledge is accessed. The present study first analyses the contents of Article 7 of the Nagoya Protocol. It will throw light on the meaning of the phrase “prior and informed consent or approval and involvement” as used in Article 7. It then highlights the implementation of Article 7 by two states parties, namely, India and Bhutan.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa contains a promise of potential self-determination of language and cultural communities. An essential question arising from this promise is how an individual’s freedom of association interacts with the ability of a community to determine its membership. This article reflects on this question with reference to standards developed in international law and practices in the constitutional law of selected case studies. Whereas international law sets a universal standard of free association, states have developed practices whereby the individual’s right to free association is recognised, but where there are also some measures allowed to ensure that an individual is indeed accepted by and part of the community. Any conflicts that arise are, generally speaking, subject to a form of judicial review.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Mona Samadi
Mona Samadi examines the sources of gender differences within the Islamic legal tradition and describes how Islamic law entitles individuals to justice according to their status, abilities and potential. In the case of men and women's capabilities, the underlying principle is that they are entitled to the same rights, as long as their capabilities are the same. In the legal construction of women's status, women have been prescribed lacking the same abilities and capabilities as men. As such, their status and rights differ, justifying men to be the maintainers of women.

By presenting the historical development of women's status and how women's legal status is debated in contemporary Muslim societies, Mona Samadi convincingly provides various methods for facilitating change within the Islamic legal theory framework.