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Blog: Legal Pathways to Protection

In this week's first blog post, one of us noted that migration as such is not a crisis, nor is the arrival of people in the EU. The language of crisis is political and helps, firstly, to sustain the narrative that the majority of migrants come to Europe (which is far from true). Secondly, it helps to justify a complex set of migration management practices aimed at preventing people from reaching and entering the EU. In distinction, we argue that the problem is not that people move in search of safety and a better life; the problem is that most people do not have access to safe and legal pathways for doing so. In this post, we elaborate on the question of legal pathways, drawing on collaborative research conducted in 2017, which resulted in the publication of a policy brief .The call for safe and legal pathways to protection is not new or unique: it has been argued for by many - including in EU and UN contexts - in response to the increasing number of people dying and/or being subjected to inhumane conditions en route. Yet, there has been insufficient attention to the question of how to operationalise these schemes in the current context. In the policy brief, we develop an overview of existing pathways and discuss how these can be combined into an integrated, flexible and sustainable policy.Here, we highlight a number of key points, both regarding developing legal pathways and with respect to understanding the policy environment. Firstly, legal pathways to protection do exist and can be divided into three categories: resettlement, visa schemes, and other provisions. There are numerous examples where these schemes have been successfully used to secure people's safety and dignity. Some notable examples are the Canadian

Student Refugee Program

Humanitarian Corridor project

policy brief

Migration Research Group

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