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Syrian Refugee Rights Under Human Rights

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Since Cain and Abel, the years have passed peacefully less than the ones with the war in the world. Wars are one of the main reason for immigration. Since people tend to escape from dangerous areas instinctively. When secured areas are not in borders of their own countries, people have to seek asylum from countries which war victims are a border of. What rights these people should have or not is one of the most debated points since the Geneva Convention, the convention focuses on war crimes on civilians. While some people think refugees ought to have equal rights after some acquisitions, some people think the rights they could acquire must be determined, and they can not exceed this border by education or other acquisitions. This paper examines the refugee situation ambidextrously by citing some works made on this topic worldwide. It mostly focuses on the ethical aspect of the issue, also mentions Turkey's case, which became a crucial social issue after the Syrian civil war(2014), and includes my ideas about the topic.

Who is (not) a refugee? 3

Leon Gordenker explains being a refugee as ‘ Unaccepted where they are, unable to return whence they came.’

Emma Haddad says that it might be easier to ask who a 'refugee' is not. What makes a refugee different from other moving individuals are; firstly decision, a refugee does not decide moving, circumstances require, secondly, the aim of moving, while migrants hope for a better life, refugees merely trying to rebuild the life they lost.

The Term of Refugee

Nina Porzucki claims that the first refugees were white protestants and first occurred to stop religious persecution against Protestants in 1682 by Edict of Nantes advocate equality of Catholics and Protestants.

Through history, many local refugee issues were observed, but the most common refugee issue observed after World War I, especially in Germany. Since the creation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), access to refugee aid has been globalized but has also become more and more stratified. The UNHCR has expanded its activities beyond the frontiers of Europe but has also tailored aid for specific groups. This is because protection work increasingly articulates different modes of classifying refugees. Three modes of ordering are explored here in the Central African case: the right approach, the labour (or developmental) approach and the basic needs (or vulnerability) approach. These modes refer to different regimes of action, different actors of protection and eventually different subjectivities. Each mode of classification, it is argued, is the product of a specific period of the UNHCR’s history. (Glosman, 2017)

Before anything else, the refugees have been left from their roots, as obligatory. They have been left from birthplace, the experiences in there, and their memories. No longer, they have not a house, a job, and a former social environment. They must learn a new language, and take part in a cultural environment. All of them eradicate the feeling of a state of belonging to a community and a culture. The refugees can feel themselves in a space. To shelter is an essential problem for refugees. The adaptation to a new environment is challenging. The refugees can not find a job. The income and social assurance of them are absent. The futures of them are uncertain. The refugees experience many health problems, such as physical, psychological, and social. Psychosocial problems can cause mental disorders, too: Anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, somatization, paranoid disorders, alcohol-substance abuse. As psychiatrists, we move in this phase. We make an effort to understand them and treat. We have to keep in mind that the success of these will be together sociocultural policy. ( Doğan, 2016)

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Refugee Rights

Refugees can apply for asylum. However, even if their asylum application is not approved yet, UNHCR states that the refugees should not only be protected physically but in all other means, which an ordinary citizen is protected, such as the protection of freedom of speech, movement and freedom from torture, which are accepted as the basic human rights granted to all people around the world no matter what their race, colour or religion is. Moreover,refugees also have the right to access schooling, work and medical means of the country they are staying in. If the power of the country in question is not enough to provide the refugees with these means, then the UNHCR will provide the help needed until the refugees come to a point, where they can take care of themselves on their own (UNHCR, 2002).

Criticism of International Refugee Law

A new vision of global refugee law is needed, one that integrates the various diverse frameworks that exist in practice under a coherent and comprehensive conception of what refugee law now is. In rising to this challenge, refugee law scholars must devote effort to overcoming certain conceptual and methodological obstacles inherent in our approach to research. If we are able to do so, then we may find ourselves well placed to make a substantial contribution to the future status and development of not just refugee law but also broader refugee protection dynamics. ( Canter, 2017)

The Future of Refugee Issue

These proposals are centred on challenges to refugee protection in the industrialized world. No one involved in refugee matters can fail to notice the ripple effect, or so-called export value, of every restrictive provision instituted by a western country. A useful study could be done to document the phenomenon; at present, much of the material is anecdotal. The call from an eastern European government is seeking the precise text of the unhappy EU 'persecution by third parties' provision, that they might put it in their own legislation. The trip to Europe by a delegation of officials from a country hosting multitudinous Afghans, that they might uncover the key to some countries' ability to send Afghans back. The citing of the US practice of interdiction when rusty vessels, brimming with Liberians fleeing war and mayhem, are prevented from docking in West Africa. The parallel drawn by an African minister who, confronted with allegations of mass refullment and killings, noted that European governments were permitting refugees to be pushed off boats in the sea and elsewhere to be burnt alive, without facing commissions of enquiry into these atrocities ( Landgren, 1998).

Refugee Policy of Turkey After Syrian Civil War

As Memişoğlu (2017) puts it, The Syrian refugee issue became a global problem due to its international aspects such as security issues and involvement in non- state coercive actions. Memişoğlu argues further the lack of descriptive analysis of the current situation on the issue of asylum-seeking refugees in Turkey at the moment (Memişoğlu, 2017). Although initially, Turkey adopted an ‘open door’ policy towards the Syrian refugees, in 2012 the government announced that it would not accept more than 100,000 Syrians (‘red line’), and began proposing a safe zone in northern Syria, where the refugees would return (Sanchez, 2012). The government has also tried to limit the number of refugees by assisting NGOs within Syria to manage camps for the internally displaced civilians, and by implementing a ‘passage with careful control’ (İçduygu, 2015, p. 7) to limit the entrance of individuals from some ethnic, religious, and ideological backgrounds. These measures, however, had little effect on the continuous inflow of refugees. The local population has also become increasingly discontent with the refugees' presence (Ferris, 2016): some blamed them for the increase in housing prices (Sak, 2014), the rise in unemployment, competition with local businesses (Çetingüleç, 2014; Güler, 2014), and even for social ills such as thefts, murders, smuggling, and prostitution (Erdoğan, 2015). The ethnic makeup of the host communities to a large extent predicts their attitudes towards the refugees: for example, areas in Hatay with predominantly Turkish-Alawite population (related to the Syrian Alawites) strongly opposed the settling of Sunni Syrians in their areas. ‬(Getmansky, 2019)


The refugee issue is one of the most urgent social problems in societies. Refugees may be classified according to why they seek asylum into six subcategories which are anticipating, semi, impelled, war, expellees and ex-champ inmate refugees. (Mesic, 1995) And climate refugees a new type refugee a natural result of the climate crisis. Refuge problem will be a permanent issue of humanity. Since people will not stop to damage nature and themselves. Today, refugees annoy mostly western countries, they lead to wars and crisis worldwide, and westerns do not have any difficulties in their secured areas. Refugees in their borders are signal of an earthquake for their comfort zones. Thus, they finance countries such as Turkey to keep refugees out of their countries. For instance, EU and USA convinced Turkey to host Syrian refugees on the condition that they would finance Turkey. Turkey could not have to manage refugee policy successfully since the government preferred to apply temporary solutions instead of permanent ones.

A refugee is human, and no human is illegal, so authorities guaranteeing their bright future do not have the right to determine the rights of the others, refugees, women, and homosexuals. Refugees should have to the same rights with a typical citizen of the secured country regardless of her ethnicity as long as she proves that she did not commit a crime against humanity or other lives and nature. Moreover, if she commits a crime while she is judged, she must have an equal right of defence as a collective world citizen.


  1. Dogan, O.(2016). What refugee issues are.Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry, 17/4.p.260
  2. Elger, E.(2013). Contemporary issues in refugee law. King’s Law Journal. (p. 125-129) Oxford, UK: Edward Elgar.
  3. Gardenler, L. (1987).Refugees in International Politics( Beckenham: Croom Helm),p.213
  4. Getmonsky, A.(2019). Refugees, geography and foreign policy preferences in Turkey. Journal of Political Geography,74.
  5. Glasman, J.(2017). The beginning of international refugee protection. Journal of Refugee Studies,30/2, 337-362
  6. Haddad, E. (2008). The Refugees in International Society: Between Sovereigns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 27.,UNHCR,,MEX,,,0.html. Protecting refugees(01. February 2002)
  7. James, D.(2017). Refugee Rights under human rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice. 9/2 pp. 203-211
  8. Londgran, K.(1998). The future of refugee protection. Journal of Refugee Studies,430.
  9. Memişoğlu, F.(2017).Refugee policy in Turkey. Journal of Mediterranean Politics,3.
  10. Mesic, M.(1995). Types of Refugees,672. Zagreb, Armenia: Zagreb University Press
  11. Porzucki, N.(2015). The first refugees were white Protestants. The World Journal,3.
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Syrian Refugee Rights Under Human Rights. (2021, August 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from
“Syrian Refugee Rights Under Human Rights.” Edubirdie, 23 Aug. 2021,
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