GC: n

S: UNHCR – (last access: 4 November 2014); UN – (last access: 7 November 2018).

N: 1. Early 15c., earlier asile (late 14c.), from Latin asylum “sanctuary,” from Greek asylon “refuge,” noun use of neuter of asylos “inviolable, safe from violence,” especially of persons seeking protection, from a- “without” + syle “right of seizure.” So literally “an inviolable place.”
2. General sense of “safe or secure place” is from 1640s; meaning “benevolent institution to shelter some class of persons” is from 1776. Thus, the current senses date from the 18th century.
3. The granting, by a State, of protection on its territory to persons from another State who are fleeing persecution or serious danger. A person who is granted asylum maybe a refugee. A person who has left her country of origin and has applied for recognition as a refugee in another country and whose request or application for refugee-status has not been finally decided by a prospective country of refuge is formally known as an asylum-seeker.
Asylum-seekers are normally entitled to remain on the territory of the country of asylum until their claims have been decided upon and should be treated in accordance with basic human rights standards. (OCHA)
4. The right of asylum falls into three basic categories: territorial, extraterritorial, and neutral. Territorial asylum is granted within the territorial bounds of the state offering asylum and is an exception to the practice of extradition. It is designed and employed primarily for the protection of persons accused of political offenses such as treason, desertion, sedition, and espionage. It has become a widespread practice, however, to exclude from this category persons accused of the murder of a head of state, certain terrorist acts, collaboration with the enemy in time of war, crimes against peace and against humanity, and war crimes. Extraterritorial asylum refers to asylum granted in embassies, legations, consulates, warships, and merchant vessels in foreign territory and is thus granted within the territory of the state from which protection is sought. Cases of extraterritorial asylum granted in embassies, legations, or consulates (generally known as diplomatic asylum) are often occasions for dispute. There is also a third type of asylum known as neutral asylum which refers to the right of providing temporary shelter that a neutral state gives to belligerents or for those individuals who do not belong to third states during conflict periods.
5. Collocations: protection given by a government.

  • Adj.: temporary | political.
  • Verb + asylum: apply for, claim, request, seek | give sb, grant sb, offer sb, provide (sb with) | get, receive | deny sb, refuse sb.
  • Asylum + noun: seeker bogus/genuine asylum seekers | application, claim.
  • Phrases: an application for asylum, the right to asylum.

6. Cultural Interrelation: today we can find several examples of asylum.

  • The first one is the case of Julian Assange the founder of WikiLeaks, who published a lot of governmental information and now is accused of violence and sexual abuses. Mr Assange has been staying inside the ecuatorian embassy for the past year to avoid extradition to Sweden, he receives political asylum.
  • The second one is the case of Edward Snowden, a man who worked for the CIA and published secret information of the USA. He was prosecuted and now receives political asylum in Russia. He has demanded political asylum to other 21 countries, including Spain or Venezuela.
  • The last case is the case of Malala Yousazfai, a Pakistani girl who was shot and now receives political and humanitarian asylum with her family in the United Kingdom.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 30 October 2014). 2. OD – (last access: 30 October 2014). 3. RWP – (last access: 5 August 2015). 4. EncBrit – (last access: 30 October 2014). 5. OD – (last access: 18 May 2015). 6. CNN – (last access: 11 November 2014); – (last access: 11 November 2014); CNN – (last access: 11 November 2014).


CR: asylee, asylum seeker, boat people, deportation, emigration, extradition, international protection, refugee camp, refugee, repatriation.