Punished for Persecution: An Analysis of the Criminalization of the Asylum Seeker in the United Kingdom
ForfatterHaglund, Molly Grace
Far from a welcoming and humane reception, those seeking asylum within the United Kingdom are confronted with obstacles at all levels of their search for protection. Rather than fulfill their responsibilities to refugees, the UK has sought to avoid its international legal obligations through the implementation of deterrence policies—practices that seek to evade and deny the offering of protection at various levels of the asylum process. These policies not only actively oppose the best interest of the asylum seeker and deny this fundamental human right, they simultaneously classify these vulnerable individuals as deviant outsiders. The externalization of immigration controls through the employment of containment strategies, widespread use of detention, the passing of legislation that facilitates destitution, as well as the negative depiction of asylum seekers in the popular press all combine to effectively criminalize refugee claimants. But how is that individuals fleeing persecution and requesting refuge within the UK have come to be viewed and treated as criminals? The following work seeks to answer this question. In addition to illustrating the various means by which the asylum seeker in Great Britain is criminalized, a contextualization of this process within the theoretical framework of Howard Becker’s labeling theory allows for deeper introspection into both how and why this phenomenon is occurring.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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