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: Marko Valenta

There has been much focus on the increased influx of asylum seekers in Norway and in Europe in general. This article investigates links between the influx of asylum seekers and developments in asylum policies in Norway. In focus are the immigration trends of the four largest groups of asylum seekers in Norway in the period 2006–2012. It is assumed that developments in the arrival of asylum seekers are to a large extent influenced by the ways in which the four groups were treated by migration authorities in Norway. This analysis is based on policy survey and available statistics. The longitudinal analysis indicates that changes in rejection, approval and deportation rates correspond to a large extent with subsequent fluctuations in annual arrivals of asylum seekers. It is also maintained that the restrictions in social rights result in deteriorating living conditions, but as a tool of migration control such restrictions do not work in accordance with the intention. The findings are of clear relevance for on-going discussions on asylum seeker mobility and discussions on minimum standards for reception of asylum seekers.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

This article provides an overview of recent developments in restrictions regarding asylum seekers’ right to work in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain and the Netherlands. It is acknowledged that a distinction should be made between policies which regulate the right to work for i) asylum seekers with a pending application and ii) asylum seekers with a final refusal on their application. In the article, contemporary policies as well as recent changes in regulations in the five countries are described in detail and compared. Furthermore, the article discusses potential consequences of these policies. A review of relevant public documents, research and basic statistics are used in an attempt to answer the question whether the relative strictness of policies regarding right to work can be linked to the influx and return of asylum seekers in the surveyed countries. It is argued that access to work has little, if any, effect on variations in this respect. At the same time, it is maintained that reduced access to work has unintended consequences, inter alia, contributing to a further marginalisation of asylum seekers in both the application and return phase.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

This article compares migrants’ rights and labour-migration policies of three resource-rich receiving countries located in the Persian Gulf, North America and Europe, respectively. The wealthy economies of Canada, Norway and the United Arab Emirates have emerged as some of the largest receivers of labour migrants. The comparative analysis herein focuses on distinctive characteristics of the different migration regimes and policies which regulate the rights of labour migrants. It is maintained that the countries we have explored could hardly be more different, and that the actual similarities with regard to migration policies are limited. Yet, we have still identified some surprising and unexpected converging trends. Specifically, these countries use some similar tools and exclusionary policies in order to restrict the legal status of certain categories of labour migrants, particularly low-skilled migrants.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights