The word ‘refugee’ conjures up images of desolate camps and tragic, impoverished conditions. As the refugee crisis becomes increasingly pressing, concern grows about how hundreds of thousands of refugees can be housed in specialist camps and how far humanitarian aid resources will stretch. Whilst such aid plays a vital role in the short-term, the provision of aid alone cannot solve the crisis and confining refugees and asylum-seekers to camps means that they are effectively quarantined, unable to integrate into wider society. Isolating refugees in this way is damaging to both the refugees concerned and the host state, creating a cycle of dependency. The only viable way to break this cycle is to empower refugees by strengthening and enforcing the rights they have, under international law, to work within host states.