Right to asylum and its protection
Kuosmanen, Jaakko Niilo
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The topic of this thesis is justice and asylum. The central argument in the thesis is that citizens of all states have a moral right that entitles them to asylum in certain circumstances of deprivation. The right to asylum can be understood as a general derivative right, and it is grounded in the more fundamental entitlement to basic needs. More specifically, I argue that all persons whose basic needs are insufficiently protected in their home states have the right to asylum when they cannot be assisted with other remedial instruments by the international community within a reasonable timeframe. By using the right to asylum as a normative evaluative standard, I also argue that the existing refugee protective institutions are morally unsatisfactory, and that a 'moral refugee regime' should be established to replace the current protective institutions. Then the questions becomes, what specific form these institutions should take. In the thesis I focus primarily on one institutional proposal, 'the tradable quota scheme', and its ethical dimensions. I defend the tradable quota scheme against several lines of criticism, and suggest that the scheme constitutes a normatively viable alternative for the existing institutional framework. Finally, I examine obligations in the protection of the right to asylum in circumstances of partial compliance. I conclude that the citizens of complying states have the obligation to 'pick up the slack' and assist those bearers of the right to asylum who are unjustly denied assistance by the non-complying states.