How can the laws of war — or international humanitarian law (IHL) — contribute to securing refuge from the inhumanity of war, a major driver of refugee flows in today’s world? Implicit in this apparently straightforward enquiry is a complex debate about interaction between the domains and rules of IHL and international refugee law. This article aims to illuminate the current contours of this debate by reflecting upon the state-of-the-art thinking developed by the range of new scholarly and practitioner contributions to the ‘Refuge from Inhumanity’ project — recently published in book form. It identifies three broad areas in which IHL may prove relevant to the protection of war refugees and suggests that they merit special attention not only in their own right but also as a means of informing efforts to interpret refugee law by drawing on the closely related field of international criminal law.
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