How does the UNHCR define the term Refugee?

      “According to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is a person who 'owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."

What Rights Do Refugees Have?

The UNHCR provides that all refugees have the same basic human (both civil and social) rights as any other foreigner who is a legal resident. Refugees maintain the rights of freedom of movement, freedom of thought, and freedom from torture and degradation. In addition, all refugees should have access to medical care. Adult refugees should have the right to work, while children should not be denied access to education. Although these right are guaranteed, refugees also have an obligation to conform to the laws of their country of asylum.



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© December, 2000 -- Rebecca Dudczak (