Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Faculty of Law


anti-Black racism, critical race theory, humanitarian governance, refugee protection, refugee resettlement


Smit, A.


Ocheje, P.




This thesis critically explores global statistics on resettlement of refugees through the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT). There has been substantial research focused on various aspects of the resettlement process and ancillary procedures; yielding insight into different aspects of the demographics of resettled refugees to various third countries. The current research is however lacking an important element relating to the racial demographics of resettled refugees. It is the intention of this research to address this gap. This research uses doctrinal legal research methodology in analyzing the historical and current trends inherent in the global resettlement process. It also analyzes collated statistical data provided by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In assuming the CRT standpoint, this thesis argues that there is global systemic anti-Black discrimination within the group of refugees shortlisted for resettlement. This had negatively affected Black refugees deemed eligible for resettlement in the past and the quotas that were ascribed to them. This thesis further argues that this prejudiced practice has still not changed much in recent times. In challenging historical and current trends, this research hopes to encourage UNHCR, national decision makers and other practitioners involved in the resettlement of refugees to begin to think more about their inherent racial biases – whether intentional or otherwise – in facilitating and making those important resettlement decisions.