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Beyond Prejudice: Structural Xenophobic Discrimination Against Refugees

Abstract

In this Article, I argue that the UN Refugee Agency’s global policy for addressing foreignness or xenophobic discrimination is inadequate. By focusing narrowly on harm to refugees resulting from explicit anti-foreigner prejudice, it ignores pervasive structural xenophobic discrimination — rights violations that result from the disproportionate effect of facially neutral measures on refugees, due to their status as foreigners. I argue that the international human rights law that the UN Refugee Agency has used to compel regulation of explicit prejudice-based xenophobic discrimination also requires regulation of structural xenophobic discrimination. As a result, the UN Refugee Agency should adopt an inclusive approach that targets both forms of xenophobic discrimination.

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