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The relative decline of state power and the increase in the significance of various non-state actors is one of the greatest challenges faced by the legal framework for the international protection of refugees and other forced migrants over previous decades. A large number of asylum seekers applying for protection in Europe and other industrialized states originate from countries where the state structure is weak, if not non-existent, and where the threats faced by individuals stem primarily from actors other than the state authorities. The legal framework for international protection, which rests on a state-centric paradigm, is struggling with claims for protection arising from such situations. Drawing extensively on international and European law, international and national case law, as well as academic writings, this study analyzes the legal obligations that states have towards refugees and other forced migrants facing threats emanating from non-state actors, exploring the transformative possibilities embedded in the law in this respect.