The international community is facing numerous migration crises, much like those that drove the development of international refugee rights and protections in the twentieth century. But instead of embracing and strengthening legal mechanisms to protect these people, we are seeing them undermined by nationalist and anti-democratic forces. With that in mind, the historical context in which international rights for asylum seekers developed offers important perspective on what makes them valuable.
While drawing direct parallels to the modern day might be misleading, present-day Germany’s migration debates shares strong underlying themes with the fall of East Germany. The impact of push and pull factors, as well as the role that home and destination countries play in establishing them, continue to matter.
Celebrate Karl Marx’s 200th birthday with 10 stops on a new History Workshop audio tour of Marx’s London
What does it mean to live in a world with borders? Historian Becky Taylor reflects on the history of border controls.
How are museums responding to the refugee crisis in Europe? Bryan Sitch on Manchester Museum’s acquisition & display of a refugee’s life jacket from the Greek island of Lesvos.
Australia’s policy of exclusion towards families who have a disabled child has meant the break-up and deportation of families.
Becky Taylor on the history of anti-immigration rhetoric in the UK, the plight of Syrian refugees, and comparisons with treatment of the Vietnamese boat people during the Thatcher government from 1979.