Refugee Lives Matter? – Protecting the human rights of migrants and refugees through international and regional obligations to investigate deaths.


Thousands of migrants are currently dying every year in Europe in deeply troubling circumstances. Most die whilst attempting to cross the Mediterranean, but there are also many deaths in refugee camps, immigration detention centres or during attempts to cross Europe’s internal borders. State and EU policy on migration and border control is notoriously vulnerable to populist driven political manoeuvrings as parties compete for domestic electorships. This project will test the extent to which international obligations on states to investigate certain deaths could be a tool for ensuring that the protection of migrants’ lives is less dependent on political will, and more tied to existing human rights and humanitarian obligations. Investigative obligations have already had a significant impact on the protection of the right to life in European prisons, healthcare facilities and when people come into contact with the police, as well as in improving accountability where state acts or omissions contribute to deaths. The project will explore the normative potential of investigative obligations to produce similar benefits in terms of promoting the practical protection of the human rights owed to migrants and refugees within or close to the borders of Council of Europe member states.


Principal Investigators
McIntosh, Sam Dr. (Details) (British Legal, Economic and Social Structures)

Duration of Project
Start date: 10/2018
End date: 10/2021

Research Areas
Jurisprudence

Research Areas
Migration, Migrationspolitik, Rechtswissenschaften

Last updated on 2021-12-10 at 11:32