Theme: Political Economy | Content Type: Journal article

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The UK's ‘Safe and Legal’ Humanitarian Routes: from Colonial Ties to Privatising Protection

Michaela Benson, Nando Sigona and Elena Zambelli

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In this article, the UK's ‘safe and legal (humanitarian) routes’ are evaluated by examining how they are positioned in the post-Brexit migration regime, and how these domestic provisions compare to those underwritten by international protections. The Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas)—HK BN(O)s—and Ukraine visa schemes are an area of focus which, combined, account for the vast majority of those arriving in the UK for the purposes of humanitarian protections since Brexit. Despite being formally presented under the same banner, the schemes have significant differences in terms of eligibility criteria, costs, rights and entitlements. Moreover, on closer inspection, while they share an overarching policy vision informed by foreign policy priorities, these new provisions are underpinned by different genealogies and policy logics. While the HK BN(O) scheme is rooted in the tradition of ancestry visas and colonial entanglements and requires that potential beneficiaries pay for protections, the Ukrainian schemes are more closely aligned with recent refugee resettlement schemes and share with them the push towards greater involvement of private and community stakeholders in humanitarian protection.

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    Michaela Benson

    Michaela Benson is Professor in Public Sociology, Lancaster University, with expertise in migration and citizenship.

    Articles by Michaela Benson
  • nando-sigona-230x2302.jpg

    Nando Sigona

    Nando Sigona is a professor of international migration and forced displacement at the University of Birmingham and director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity.

    Articles by Nando Sigona
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    Elena Zambelli

    Elena Zambelli is an Honorary Research Associate and former Senior Research Associate in the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University.

    Articles by Elena Zambelli
Volume 95, Issue 1

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Volume 95, Issue 1

Includes a collection on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, edited by Suzanne Franks and Jean Seaton. This features articles such as 'The Governance of the BBC' by Diane Coyle; 'A Public Service Internet - Reclaiming the Public Service Mission' by Helen Jay; and 'BBC Funding: Much Ado about the Cost of a Coffee a Week' by Patrick Barwise. There are a wide range of other articles including 'Back to the Stone Age: Europe's Mainstream Right and Climate Change’ by Mitya Pearson and 'Labour, the Unions and Proportional Representation' by Cameron Rhys Herbert. Finally, there is a selection of book reviews such as Lyndsey Jenkins's review of Fighting For Life: The Twelve Battles that Made Our NHS and the Struggle for Its Future by Isabel Hardman, and Victoria Brittain's review of Three Worlds, Memoirs of an Arab-Jew by Avi Shlaim.

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