Global Refugee Crisis

A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition

by Mark Gibney


The questionable cost-to-benefit ratio and long-term benefit of the United States' military involvement in Iraq has been a subject of widespread scrutiny debate. But much less attention has been paid to the massive human migration due to the invasion of Iraq, which has caused the displacement of roughly four million individuals.

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Cover image for Global Refugee Crisis

September 2010


Pages 324
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/International

This book documents the current global refugee crisis and examines the interrelated factors of immigration enforcement, international human rights law, political violence, and refugee protection.

There are two disparate components to the global refugee crisis: first, there are about 46 million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), most of whom are struggling to survive in the poorest and most violent countries in the world, and second, our interpretation of international human rights law allows this state of affairs to worsen.

Refugee protection has been a longstanding policy that ostensibly protects victims of human rights violations from other countries. In actuality, protection is largely negated by systematic efforts by industrialized states to reduce the number of refugees arriving at the borders. This book provides a comprehensive examination of this worldwide problem and rejects the idea that the majority of asylum seekers abuse the system to gain entrance into the country.


  • Provides the latest empirical data covering the last 30 years, analyzing the human rights practices of the states that produce the majority of the world's asylum seekers
  • Includes a chapter of over 40 biographies of distinguished refugees from all over the world.
  • Contains primary source documents of international treaties and protocols related to refugees, as well as data figures revealing statistical trends of asylum seekers and displaced persons


  • Presents information that challenges the notion that asylum abuse is a pervasive problem
  • Argues that a greater refugee crisis will occur if states expand their immigration enforcement measures without extending domestic or international legal protections for refugee
  • Introduces an understanding of international law that recognizes that states have human rights obligations, which include extending beyond their territorial borders to accept refugees and to prevent refugee flows from taking place
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about. Visit the entire list of titles in the series at


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Mark Gibney is the Belk Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, Asheville, NC. His published works include Universal Human Rights and Extraterritorial Obligations and the forthcoming The Politics of Human Rights: The Quest for Dignity.



"... insightful subject overview ..."—Library Journal

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