Asylum: From World War II to Europe's Refugee Crisis

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A dinghy overcrowded with Afghan immigrants arrived on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015.
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Over the last few weeks, thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and other war-torn nations have crowded the borders of the European Union.

But the modern concept of asylum stems from a much earlier crisis. 

As James C. Hathaway, professor of law and director of the Refugee and Asylum Law Program at the University of Michigan, explains, the Russian Revolution first expelled refugees into the rest of modern Europe, but it wasn't until after World War II that the United Nations Convention on Refugees came into effect. 

Today, nearly 150 nations have signed onto the Convention. Hathaway examines the Convention as it stands now, and how he hopes to see it improved.