Moral Refugee Markets


  • Mollie Gerver Newcastle University



Quotas, Refugees, Outsourcing, Migration


States are increasingly paying other states to host refugees. For example, in 2010 the EU paid Libya €50 million to continue hosting the refugees within its borders, and five years later Australia offered Cambodia $31.16 million to accept asylum seekers living in Naru. These exchanges, which I call ‘refugees markets,’ have faced criticism by philosophers. Some philosophers claim the markets fail to ensure true protection, and are demeaning, expressing just how much refugees are unwanted. In response, some have defended refugee markets, claiming they can ensure refugees have protection and are not demeaned. I argue that many markets do demean refugees, and therefore have moral costs, but can still be all-things-considered preferable to alternative schemes if they protect refugees more than these alternative schemes.

Author Biography

Mollie Gerver, Newcastle University

Assistant Professor in International Politics