11 Sep, 19 / post / Front Page
No Asylum for ‘Infiltrators’: Israel’s Dysfunctional Asylum System

As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled No asylum for ‘infiltrators’: Israel’s dysfunctional asylum system by Ruvi Ziegler (Associate Professor in International Refugee Law, University of Reading, School of Law).

This talk explores the precarious status of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel. Having crossed the Israeli-Egyptian border without authorisation and not through an official border crossing, Israeli law defines such individuals as ‘infiltrators’, a charged term which dates back to border-crossings into Israel by Palestinian Fedayeen in the 1950s. Eritreans and Sudanese nationals constitute over 90 percent of ‘infiltrators’ in Israel. Their livelihood is curtailed through a hostile political discourse, financial sanctions, and detention. While Israel refrains from deporting them to their respective countries of origin, recognising that such forced removal could expose them to risks to their lives and/or freedom, it refrains from granting them protection status, seeking instead to reach ‘third country’ agreement with sub-Saharan African states. The talk argues that the regularisation of asylum in Israel, including legal recognition of ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’ and subsidiary or complementary protraction statuses, is long due.

Biography

Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading, School of Law, where he is the Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes.  Ruvi is an Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Research Associate of the Refuge Studies Centre, University of Oxford; Co-convenor of the Migration and Asylum Section of the Society of Legal Scholars; Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London) and Editor-in-Chief of its Working Paper Series; and a Researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, analysing the treatment of asylum seekers in Israel as part of the ‘Democratic Principles’ project.

Ruvi’s public engagements include serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of New Europeans Association UK; Chair of the Oxford European Association; A Britain in Europe academic expert; and an advisory council member of Rene Cassin.

Previously, Ruvi was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic and with the Human Rights Program; and a Tutor in Public International Law at Oxford.

Ruvi’s recently published book is Voting Rights of Refugees (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Ruvi’s areas of research interest include International Refugee Law, Electoral Rights and citizenship, Comparative Constitutional Law, and International Humanitarian Law.

Ruvi holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford; LL.M. with specialisation in Public Law from Hebrew University; and a joint LLB and BA from the University of Haifa. He was called to the Israeli bar in 2003.

For more information and a list of publications: www.reading.ac.uk/law/about/staff/r-ziegler.aspx

Date: Tuesday 17 September 2019

Time: 12.45 -13.45

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus