Document Type



This article argues that an understanding of the evolution of asylum is an essential ingredient in the search for ideas and perspectives to the plight facing forced migrants. Using Kenya as a case study, the paper evaluates the extent to which procedures used to determine claims for asylum, protection outcomes and entitlements met international human rights and refugee law standards. It is contended that limited resources, porous boundaries and the mass movement of asylum seekers have compromised the level of protection offered to those who seek surrogate protection in African states like Kenya. In conclusion, critics in the area of asylum are challenged to undertake historical studies, as a way towards offering best practise lessons for those involved in the protection of persons forced to flee their home states.


The version of record: Int J Refugee Law (2007) 19 (1): 51-95. doi: 10.1093/ijrl/eem006 is available online at: