As readers of the Model International Mobility Convention (MIMC) will note, the first four chapters of the project center primarily on the more-or-less voluntary migration of persons. In contrast, Chapter V is devoted to the situation of individuals who are forced to cross international borders in search of safety and refuge. Whether caused by persecution, generalized violence, or forms of state breakdown and insecurity that expose individuals to serious harm, the MIMC’s turn to forced migration signals a shift in attention to persons in need of international protection and the humanitarian consid- erations these circumstances raise.
In this comment, I will largely focus on providing an analysis and overview of Chapter V and the responsibility sharing provisions of Chapter VIII. I begin by sketching the larger context of contemporary forced migration that informs the approach of the MIMC. From here I discuss how the MIMC addresses the relationship between migration and vulnerability to develop responses to many of the gaps that currently exist in international protection. This will highlight how these provisions aim to both deepen rights protections, by refining the existing framework of the refugee regime, while also expanding the scope of coverage, by accounting for persons with strong claims to protection who fall outside the formal refugee definition articulated in the 1951 Refugee Convention. By way of conclusion I briefly consider some of the enduring difficulties that have beset efforts to develop a more effective, equitable, and truly global approach to international protection and the proposals the MIMC advances for meeting these challenges.