The dawn of international refugee protection: States, tacit cooperation and non-extradition
There is a long history of state efforts to provide refugee protection prior to the twentieth century-one that can be traced from the flight of the Huguenots in 1685 through the French Revolution and political refugee flows in the nineteenth century. It is during this period that many of the normative understandings we now accept as the foundation of the modern refugee regime were first created: that refugees were distinct from other migrants, that they required protection because of this status and that this status should be based in law. These norms were tacit or informal-states acted on an ad hoc basis and undertook a responsibility only towards the refugees who crossed their borders. Even so, shared understandings around refugee protection were first created as domestic state legislation and practice, and then transmitted across the European state system through the mechanism of extradition treaties. This system worked for a time because the numbers were small and because policies of open migration allowed the vast majority of religious refugees to avoid this system entirely.