1951 Refugee Convetions; Importance in Protecting Regugees

Topics: Refugee, Right of asylum, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Pages: 3 (896 words) Published: March 11, 2013
In what way is the 1951 Refugee Convention (and 1967 Protocol) important in protecting refugees today? Refer to specific measures and rights outlined in the Convention and the Protocol.

The States that signed the 1951 Refugee Convention agreed to assist and protect the refugees and helping them to a new start.[1] What this mean and how it is important, this essay will give attempt to discuss by looking at some of its articles and then move on to an example of where and how it has been implemented in law and action.

In the first chapter of the Convention, I would like to point out the importance in article no. 3 that applies to the rest of the Convention as well: The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin. Stating that discrimination is not allowed in any of the provisions that follow in the convention makes this an overall point that imbues the following articles, which leaves no room for discrimination in any of the above field. Non-discrimination is especially important when it comes to refugees, who might have left their country of origin due to discriminating causes.

Moreover, as many refugees come into the country of refuge irregular ways, Article 31 is an important part in protecting refugees by preventing them from being persecuted due to their illegal entry or stay and being seen as criminals.

Article 33, Prohibition of expulsion or return (“refoulement”), one of the most important parts in the protection that the signatory states also agreed to. This article is fundamental for the safety-feeling of the refugees, whose mental and physical health might very well depend on being sent back or not, or even the fear of being sent back. One example is of a 15 year old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, who when he got a negative answer of his asylum application stitched his lips together. [2] No Contracting State...
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