Matthew J. Lister
Deakin University
Over the last several years asylum cases relating to activities of criminal gangs have greatly increased in frequency. Cases involving Central American gangs, the so-called maras, have attracted the most attention but similar cases have arisen out of South Eastern and Eastern Europe as well. Applicants in such cases face a number of difficulties as their cases do not fit into paradigm categories for asylum claims. These cases almost always involve non-state actors, for example, acting for reasons that are not, at least at first glance, clearly political. Additionally, the reasons why gangs target particular individuals often do not obviously fit into one of the traditional protected grounds. If applicants fleeing gang activity are to successfully apply for asylum they will have to overcome these apparent difficulties. In this paper, a contribution to the University of Memphis Law Review Spring Symposium on immigration reform, I break down gang-related asylum claims into three main categories and show how at least some cases in each category fit within the area set out for protection by asylum and refugee law. I briefly discuss a conceptual framework which explains how some gang-related cases should be seen as falling in the area that asylum law seeks to protect (thereby providing a concrete example of the sort of protection that I claim in my dissertation refugee law is meant to provide) and give advice to practitioners about how to formulate meritorious claims.
Keywords refugees  immigration  asylum  gangs  human rights  non-state actors and asylum  gender and asylum  Immigration law  refugee law
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,160
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
37 ( #304,968 of 2,499,276 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #418,195 of 2,499,276 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes