The Asylum-Seekers

Published: Winter 1994    |    By: Freda Hawkins    |    Volume 52, No. 2


The ‘eighties and ‘nineties of this century have seen a remarkable migration to the affluent countries of Europe and North America: the asylum-seekers. It has been remarkable not only because of its size and extraordinary capacity to accelerate within a very short time, but also because the flurry of international meetings and consultations which it has engendered have led to much more, probably lasting, international communication and collaboration in the migration field than we have known before. It has also drawn attention to serious weaknesses in our international systems of refugee management and asylum. Subdued now, but not ended by tighter legislation in all the major receiving countries, and displaced from the headlines for the time being by events in Africa and eastern Europe, the movement is still with us, warning of the major population movements which may be ahead in the next century unless we devise better international systems of management and control in this vital area.

About the Author

Freda Hawkins is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, and an academic specialist on Canadian immigration and international migration. Her most recent work is a comparative study of Canadian and Australian immigration entitled Critical Years in Immigration: Canada and Australia Compared (McGill-Queen’s 1989).