SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Oette, Lutz and Babiker, Mohamed Abdelsalam (2017) 'Migration Control A La Khartoum: EU External Engagement and Human Rights Protection in the Horn of Africa.' Refugee Survey Quarterly, 36 (4). pp. 64-89.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (802kB) | Preview


This article examines the European Union–Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (the Khartoum Process), which is primarily aimed at combating human trafficking and smuggling in the region. It probes this partnership model in the field of external migration control from a human rights and refugee law perspective. Instead of being based on a human rights approach, the Khartoum Process has relied on a managerial, project-based approach to the complex realities of mixed migration in the Horn of Africa. The article uses Sudan as a case study, due to its critical role in the Khartoum Process. It identifies systemic weaknesses in Sudan’s law and practice, which cast serious doubts on Sudan’s ability to combat trafficking and smuggling in conformity with international standards, and its reliability as a partner in “migration management”. It also shows how the Khartoum Process risks undermining the coherence of the European Union’s external policy, particularly in respect of human rights protection in the region. These findings corroborate critiques of, and accentuate concerns about flawed partnership models and externalisation policies driven by imperatives of migration control. The article concludes by sketching out an alternative approach based on attention to context, process, and respect for human rights.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
School Research Centres > Centre for Human Rights Law
ISSN: 10204067
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Oxford University Press. This is the accepted version of an article published by Oxford University Press in Refugee Survey Quarterly:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 12:11

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item