Philosophy seminar and postgraduate orientation: What are our narrow obligations to refugees? Event as iCalendar

(Philosophy, School of Humanities)

14 March 2018

4 - 6pm

Venue: Pat Hanan Room, CLL Building (207-501)

Adam Dalgleish | Philosophy

Traditionally, our obligations toward refugees have been viewed as rooted in migration. Refugees are seen as a symptom of a dysfunction in global human rights protection, as their home state is not playing its role of ensuring the fulfilment of human rights for its citizens and they are forced to seek aid abroad. If a new state can be found to be responsible, the thought goes, then we can fill this gap in human rights protection and meet our obligations toward refugees.

While this account may seem intuitive, I seek to challenge its use in practice. In reality, refugees often flee from and to states which lack the capacity to fulfil the human rights of their own people, let alone needy newcomers and states capable of providing human rights via resettlement are notoriously frugal with spaces. If we want our account to be action guiding, I argue, then we need to explore the role that developmental obligations can play as a meaningful path toward more robust and reliable refugee protections. In particular, I seek to highlight the connections between what we owe to refugees and the nearby global poor and how these obligations converge on development as a shared answer to a lack human rights fulfilment.

After the talk and the discussion, John Bishop (Philosophy postgraduate advisor) will lead a short orientation session for post-graduate students at Masters, Honours, and Postgraduate Diploma level.


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