Harvard International Law Journal
Because of persecution, civil war, and economic despair, millions of people flee from their homes and go to live in other countries where they can stabilize their lives and find a safe place for themselves and their families. In 1998, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated the number of people fleeing their home countries to exceed 22 million. 1 The right to seek and enjoy asylum is a well established principle in international law. 2 It has, however, been interpreted consistently as the right of the sovereign state to grant or deny asylum to those within its territory, rather than the absolute right of the individual to be granted asylum. 3
David Weissbrodt and Beth Andrus, The Right to Life During Armed Conflict: Disabled Peoples' International v. United States, 29 Harv. Int'l. L. J. 59 (1988), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/363.