Subsidiary Status

  • David Edward Zammit


This chapter explores the development of subsidiary status under EU asylum law; paying particular attention to the way the Qualification Directive introduced this status to harmonize protection for persons whom Member States could not refoule in terms of their obligations under international human rights treaties. While this was a positive development, this paper argues—making some reference to the Maltese experience—that negative consequences have resulted from the specific choice to create this new EU-wide status, instead of simply clarifying that such persons are entitled to asylum. Instead of being refugees who are entitled to asylum, subsidiary status holders are often seen as ‘second-class’ and undeserving recipients of state generosity. Secondly, the content of subsidiary status is diluted in comparison to the rights granted to ‘real refugees’. Thirdly Subsidiary status sets the stage for the creation of even more ‘inferior’ statuses which do not convey any rights save non-refoulement and which do not equip their holders to integrate in their host societies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Laws, University of MaltaMsidaMalta

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