Refugee law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Refugee law is the branch of international law which deals with the rights and protection of refugees. It is related to, but distinct from, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, which deal respectively with human rights in general, and the conduct of war in particular.

Definition of refugee[edit]

The 1967 Protocol refined the definition of a refugee as a person who:

  • is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence,
  • has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, and
  • is unable or unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.

The 1967 Protocol removed the temporal restrictions, which restricted refugee status to those whose circumstances had come about "as a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951", and the geographic restrictions which gave States party to the Convention the option of interpreting this as "events occurring in Europe" or "events occurring in Europe or elsewhere". However, it also gave those States which had previously ratified the 1951 Convention and chosen to use the geographically restricted definition the option to retain that restriction.

Sources of refugee law[edit]

Refugee law encompasses both customary law, peremptory norms, and international legal instruments. The only international instrument is the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, with the 1967 optional Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, which a country has to have signed separately, while various regional bodies have instruments applying only to member states. These instruments include:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]