E.g., 02/25/2024
E.g., 02/25/2024
Expanding Protection Options? Flexible Approaches to Status for Displaced Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians

Faced with displacement crises that have stretched asylum systems to their limits, countries have increasingly begun to use alternatives to traditional protection tools to provide displaced individuals with legal status and access to certain rights and forms of assistance. Often, the status offered is temporary and does not rely on adjudication of individual cases.

While such approaches are not completely new, they have gained prominence through national responses to three of the largest displacement crises of the post-World War II era: displacement from Syria, Venezuela, and Ukraine. The principal host governments in these three crises—Turkey, various South American countries, and EU Member States—chose to provide legal status to millions of protection seekers by using existing immigration policies or new temporary statuses, rather than refugee or asylum systems.

This report—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—examines each of these three cases, identifying similarities in the approaches taken to offering protection while recognizing the differences between the cases. The study explores the factors underpinning government decisions and their medium- to long-term implications, concluding with thoughts on what can be learned for future international displacement crises.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  Displaced Syrians in Turkey

3  Displaced Venezuelans in Latin America and the Caribbean

4  Displaced Ukrainians in the European Union

5  The Promises and Perils of Temporary Protection
A. An Emerging Model for Crisis Response?
B. Calculating the Costs and Benefits of a Temporary Approach

6  The Best of Both Worlds? Building on the Lessons of Temporary Protection for the Future