This book investigates how effective human rights and the inherent dignity of refugees can be secured in situations of protracted exile and encampment. The book deploys an innovative human rights-based capabilities approach to address fundamental questions relating to law, power, governance, responsibility, and accountability in refugee camps.

Adopting an original theoretical framework, the author demonstrates that legal empowerment can change the distribution of power in a given refugee situation, facilitating the exercise of individual agency and assisting in the reform of the opportunity structure available to the individual. Thus, by helping to increase the capability of refugees to participate actively in the decisions that most affect their core rights and interests, participatory approaches to legal empowerment can also assist in securing other capabilities, ultimately ensuring that refugees are able to live dignified lives while in protracted exile.

Ultimately, the book demonstrates that legal empowerment of refugees can bring lasting benefits in establishing trust between refugees, the state, and local communities. It will be of interest to researchers within the fields of refugee studies, international law, development studies, and political science, as well as to policy-makers and practitioners working in the fields of refugee assistance and humanitarian intervention.

chapter |12 pages


chapter 1|37 pages

The exclusion of long-term refugees from the law

Creating situations of protracted right-“less”-ness

chapter 2|34 pages

The state-refugee fiduciary relationship

The legal obligation to secure human rights-based capabilities

chapter 3|32 pages

A challenge to power

Legal empowerment as an enabling central capability 1

chapter 5|38 pages

Critical engagement

Adopting a participatory approach to legal empowerment

chapter |6 pages