Unpacking Temporary Protection of Refugees: Failure of Durable Solutions and Uncertainties

Şengül İ.

İnönü Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.13, no.1, pp.16-28, 2022 (International Refereed University Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.21492/inuhfd.992439
  • Title of Journal : İnönü Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Dergisi
  • Page Numbers: pp.16-28


Temporary protection has been discussed, promoted, and implemented in different regions (Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East) since 1970s as a practical response for large-scale refugee movements. Nevertheless, despite its wide usage and implementation, what is meant by temporary protection is not clear, and frequently debated in policy and academic circles. The attempts to standardize/improve temporary protection frameworks dominate the studies on temporary protection. Rather than solely focusing on what is temporary protection or what it should be, this article makes a novel contribution to the literature by asking a neglected question: how and why has the category of temporary protection been developed in the contemporary international refugee regime and with what consequences? By focusing on the policy guidelines, soft-law instruments, and existing literature on temporary protection, it shows that temporary protection has been developed in a top-down manner focusing solely on the state interests. The failure of durable solutions framework in international refugee regime and inherent uncertainties of temporary protection are intrinsically related to each other and their relation is taken as key to unpack the development and consequences of temporary protection regimes. This article concludes that temporary protection both creates and maintains uncertainty as a refugee management strategy which speaks to state interests in the context of the failure traditional durable solutions framework.