The Multiple Forms of Violence in the Asylum System

Canning, Victoria (2017). The Multiple Forms of Violence in the Asylum System. In: Cooper, Vickie and Whyte, David eds. The Violence of Austerity. London: Pluto Press, pp. 67–74.



People seeking asylum under international refugee laws have often experienced disproportionately violent histories. The nature of asylum places abuses such as torture, sexual violence, and familial death or killing central to claims for refugee status and, as such, signatories to the Refugee Convention are obligated to provide safety. Rather than consistently providing safety and security for those who might require it most, however, British governments have worked to deter people from seeking asylum and deflect from these international obligations. Moreover, as this chapter will argue, measures implemented since the onslaught of so-called austerity measures have both facilitated and inflicted violence, structurally and directly.

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