Wednesday, August 2, 2023

What is the international law on asylum seekers or refugees?


International law on asylum seekers and refugees is based on the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. These instruments define a refugee as someone who:

  • owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

The Convention also guarantees certain rights to refugees, including the right to non-refoulement, which means that they cannot be forcibly returned to a country where they would face persecution.

In addition to the Convention, there are a number of other international instruments that relate to asylum seekers and refugees, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

These instruments together form the basis of international refugee law, which provides a framework for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees around the world.

Here are some of the key provisions of international refugee law:

  • The right to seek asylum: Everyone has the right to seek asylum in another country if they are fleeing persecution.
  • The principle of non-refoulement: No one can be forcibly returned to a country where they would face persecution.
  • The right to a fair and impartial asylum process: Asylum seekers have the right to have their case heard fairly and impartially.
  • The right to protection from refoulement: Asylum seekers cannot be returned to a country where they would face persecution.
  • The right to access basic services: Asylum seekers have the right to access basic services, such as healthcare, education, and housing.

These are just some of the key provisions of international refugee law. It is important to note that international refugee law is not always respected in practice. However, it provides a framework for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees around the world.

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