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People on the move: legal & HR responses: Home

Subjects: Law, Refugee Studies

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers at the University of Oxford studying the laws and rights relating to people moving between jurisdictions, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about sources and commentary for migration and asylum law, including ebooks, ejournals, and databases.

People on the Move: getting started

How do individual nations and the international community states respond to those who choose to try life in another country, or are driven to do so by

  • war or civil conflict
  • human rights abuses
  • ethnic cleansing, genocide
  • famine
  • natural or environmental disasters (such as flooding)
  • ecological disasters (such as accidents in the petrochemical industry)
  • developmental/economic projects
  • forced relocation
  • enforced disappearance
  • criminal exploitation

and those stripped of their original nationality/citizenship by the discriminatory policy of a state.

Some of the tabs (above)/pages may need explanation

  • Refugees - those whose flight to safety takes them across country/nation state borders
  • IDPs - Internally Displaced Peoples - those whose forced migration is within their home state/country
  • EDPs - Environmentally & Ecologically Displaced Persons
  • (H)TVs - Human Trafficking Victims
  • Statelessness - protection of people arbitrarily denied citizenship - or whose citizenship is arbitrarily revoked - by their nation state
  • Non-citizens - considers the duties of host states to ensure that forced migrants do not suffer from discrimination or a reduction in their civil or human rights.

Just a selection to get research started.

To support your research in this field you will probably find most of the printed material is within one or other of the following libraries. The collections of both are catalogued in the same online discovery tool SOLO: Search Oxford Libraries Online. Fortunately they are in neighbouring buildings, a very short walk between them.

Bodleian Law Library

This library holds Oxford's collection for law and legal philosophy.
The collection is housed on four floors of the St Cross Building, OX 1 3UR.

Bodleian Social Science Library

This library is on the ground floor of the Manor Rd building. Not only does it have the Bodleian collection for  Migration Studies and Refugee & Forced Migration Studies, but also collects the following: Area Studies, Criminology, Data & Statistics for Social Sciences, Economics, Evidence Based Social Intervention, Geography, International Development, Politics and International Relations, Social Policy & Intervention, Socio Legal Studies and
Sociology.  Please go to its website (via link below) for opening hours, further details of services etc.

Here is a general guide for using SOLO, but beneath are some tips on search strategies for this particular topic which might help you get started.

To try a subject search for this topic in SOLO ( use one or more the suggestions below.

Note location details of results carefully: as you may find more than one Bodleian library has useful material.

Refugees -- Legal status, laws, etc

Refugees -- Protection -- International cooperation

War - protection of civilians

Political refugees

Refugee rights
Legal assistance to refugees 

Asylum, Right of

Asylum Seekers

Refugees -- Civil rights 

Political refugees -- Civil rights

Refugee children -- 
Immigrant children -- Legal status, laws, etc 

Immigrants -- Civil rights 
Aliens -- Civil rights

Emigration and immigration law

Safe third country

Forced migration

Population transfers

Freedom of Movement (International law)

It is also probable that books classified just under broader subject areas - such as Humanitarian law or Human rights - will also have useful material.

Related Bodleian guides