Former ICI Fellow Shreya Sen & the Rohingya Refugees in India

Refugee by Ani BasharWe are happy to share a recent article which included an interview with former ICKCBI Fellow Shreya Sen. Sen is currently the executive member of the Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Migration Issues Network and a doctoral fellow at the University of Calcutta. In her comments she raises the importance of legal changes to Indian law, and some of the obstacles to stronger humanitarian protections when national and international law are in conflict. Sen offered the following analysis of the problem in her interview:

“The news about the Rohingya deportation is shocking but certainly not surprising,” said Shreya Sen, executive member of the Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Migration Issues Network and a doctoral fellow at the University of Calcutta. “It needs to be remembered that international law can be applied in India only if this undergoes a transition into domestic law. This too can happen only if the provisions of international law are not in direct conflict with Indian municipal law.”

She said that domestic legal mechanisms for regulating immigration flow remain absolute and supreme, their authority unquestioned, enabling India to disrespect the principle of non-refoulement. This fundamental principle of international law protects a refugee or asylum seeker from being forced to return to a place where his life is likely to be at risk, and is one of the major elements of the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. It is also believed to constitute a rule of customary international law, which refers to international obligations arising from established state practice. For instance, the United Nations Convention against Torture (1984), which India is a signatory to, bans refoulement on grounds of possible torture. But New Delhi has not yet ratified the treaty, which means its provisions are not legally binding.

You can read the entire article on Scroll.in.

 

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