On Friday, June 30, 2023, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) hosted the 17th GGR Brown Bag Lunch Seminar “History of the Refugee Regime,” with Professor Osamu Arakaki (College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University) as the guest speaker.
Professor Arakaki gave a brief introduction to the events spanning almost four centuries prior to the refugee regime. He mentioned that the refugee regime became visible in the form of international cooperation after World War I, and explained that the issuance of the Nansen Passport, which combined the functions of an identity card and a transit permit, proposed by Fridtjof Nansen, contributed to states’ recognition of the existence of refugees. The Refugee Convention (1951) was subsequently initiated by President Truman, but Professor Arakaki argued that the refugee regime lacked universality because it developed as part of the Cold War configuration. Thus, an increasing number of people such as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who account for more than half of the world’s refugees, those seeking asylum to avoid climate change and natural disasters, and those fleeing conflicts, are not covered by the refugee regime.
In the Q&A session that followed, questions were raised, including the meaning of refugee “protection” and its implementation in different countries, and who are the actors with the most power in shaping the international refugee regime. Professor Arakaki replied that the powerful actors can be states or other actors, depending on which actors can offer the most convincing solutions to the refugee problem.
【Event Report prepared by】Minhee JEONG（Doctoral Student, the Graduate School of Law）