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Detention of minors in the United Kingdom and Turkey as an immigration policy: assessing the predictive value of human rights compliance theory

Canga, P. (2017). Detention of minors in the United Kingdom and Turkey as an immigration policy: assessing the predictive value of human rights compliance theory. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The end of World War II was the beginning of an era of promises being made for the protection of human rights. Since then, the international community has established a variety of legal instruments that aim to achieve this protection. These legal instruments at the international level provide certain standards for states to fulfil, such as the right to a fair trial and prohibition of arbitrary detention. Despite the growing international human rights network including several official and non-official actors, non-compliance with international protection standards by states is still a serious challenge within the system. The ever-enlarging literature on international law compliance theories persistently seeks to find ways to overcome this problem.

Immigration detention of children, one of the human rights issues on which the international network has provided guidance to states, has been practiced by Turkish and British immigration authorities for a considerable period of time. This practice has been justified on the grounds of efficient immigration control. Nevertheless, these two countries recently took legislative steps towards compliance with international human rights standards regarding immigration detention of minors. This research investigated these processes in Turkey and the UK to find out whether there were any actors that influenced the decision to change legislation by applying a selected compliance theory that focuses on socialisation between various actors such as courts and international monitoring bodies and the state. It was clear that these two very different countries reached the same conclusions via distinct routes, in reference to different reasons and motivations. While the theory’s predictive value showed only limited success in the UK’s case due to its reliance on socialisation and international law, it had high explanatory power for Turkey’s case. Nonetheless, it still demonstrated the importance of identifying actors capable of influencing decisionmaking of states to further strengthen the system of protection of human rights.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > KD England and Wales
Departments: Doctoral Theses
The City Law School
The City Law School > The City Law School Doctoral Theses
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