Protection Of Refugees

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Protection of Refugees

Protection of Refugees


Non-refoulement is a term used to describe the right of a refugee to not be returned to their country or territory if their life or freedom would be threatened because they are a certain race, of a certain religion, a certain nationality, or belong to a certain social group or political affiliation. It does not apply to any refugee who is a threat to the national security of the country of which he or she resides at the current time, or if they are a danger to the community, or if they have committed a very serious crime. It must be given to all refugees without discrimination. This also applies to asylum seeking refugees. They can only be turned away if national security or public order is threatened. It is also established as a humanitarian gesture that should not cause any tension between states.

Non-refoulement has become customary in international law. All countries must follow the non-refoulement rules of refugee even if they did not become parties to the original 1951 convention or 1967 protocol (Young, 1992). It is basically to extend the unalienable rights to international refugees and creates an avenue for those whose rights are being infringed upon in their own country to seek an escape and help until they can be returned.


The principle of non-refoulement began in the 1951 Convention relating to the Statues of Refugees. This not only setup up the basic rights and rules for refuges and asylum seekers such as protection without discrimination, minimum standards of treatment and protection from torture. It also established as a general definition of a refugee.

The program was originally designed to protect refugees fleeing from Europe during the holocaust so it only applied to events before 1951 and the states that had become parties could refuse any refugees who were not European. The 1967 Protocol spread this movement to apply to more modern and international refugees and to areas of the world the original 1951, convention did not cover (Phuong, 2004). Most of the writing was general and did not specifically list guidelines each state needed to carry out the orders.

In 2004, the European Union established unified guidelines for the Common European Asylum System such as temporary protection, minimum standards, a fingerprint comparison system, and other minimum standards. There were no specific crimes that were considered harsh enough to refuse the refugee until there were tribunal's criminals from Yugoslavia and Rwanda. This caused the Statute of the ICC to be form and list certain crimes that were not previously specified. Even with several instrument being developed internationally, the UNCHR still left the states the right to adopt a broader refugee definition. The UNCHR must also stay around in order to supervise proceedings since there is no description of how to enforce things should the agreements be broken.

Persecution - Violation of Human Rights

These can be defined as but not limited to threats to life or freedom due to: race, religion, nationality, political affiliation, or being involved in ...
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