Who is considered a refugee in international

A individual is considered a refugee in international jurisprudence if that individual ( I ) owing to tenable fright of being persecuted ( two ) for grounds of race, faith, nationality, rank of a peculiar societal group or political sentiment, ( three ) is outside the state of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fright, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.’ [ 1 ] The paper shall discourse each standard in bend and so define whether these standards are consistent with the current international worlds.

Standards for the Definition of Refugee

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Tenable fright of being persecuted has been defined by most states to integrate an aim and a subjective constituent. [ 2 ] However, due to the deficiency of a consistent international construction there is considerable discordance as to the applicable criterion of cogent evidence, burden of cogent evidence and evidentiary construction ; therefore, different states apply different criterions. The absence of a definition of ‘persecution’ in the Convention has besides created major disagreements for the definition of a refugee because different provinces employ different definitions which range from really broad to reasonably restrictive. [ 3 ] However, in pattern, it seems that the restrictive definition is most by and large adopted and therefore persons have to show that they ‘face favoritism or ill-treatment… of a really serious kind’ in order to measure up as a refugee. [ 4 ]

In international jurisprudence, persecution by itself is deficient to set up refugee position. A individual would merely be considered a refugee if her persecution was based on one of the evidences enumerated in the Convention, viz. , race, faith, nationality, rank in a peculiar societal or political group. Race, faith and nationality are moderately good defined footings despite their being capable to different readings, but the political sentiment class is capable to widely changing readings which is chiefly based on one’s ideological position. For illustration, the US has systematically defined those who had fled from the Communist states for political grounds as refugees, while worsening to make so for those who had fled from states friendly to the US. [ 5 ] The definition of peculiar societal group class is besides rather elusive because it is frequently based on political orientation, international dealingss or fright of a monolithic inflow of refugees. [ 6 ]

Finally, a individual must be outside his or her state of nationality to be able to claim refugee position. Although this demand is non connected to the demand for protection, this is an indispensable demand of the definition of refugee under international jurisprudence.

Therefore it seems a refugee is a individual who is actively persecuted by the authorities pursuant to cognisable evidences and outside the province of his nationality.

International Reality v. Definition of Refugee

One failing of the current refugee jurisprudence in relation to current international worlds is the discretional nature of allowing refuge. The discretional nature of refugee jurisprudence has enabled provinces to use it as a propaganda tool for their ideological conflicts, particularly during the Cold War, and therefore sabotage the normative footing of refugee jurisprudence. [ 7 ] As a consequence, accepting refugees from a province now seems to reflect a negative remark on the internal personal businesss of the province of beginning instead than a agency of turn toing the predicament of people. Therefore, states seem to be unwilling to allow refuge to people from states with whom they have friendly dealingss. Furthermore, the single analysis for the finding of refugee position is incompatible with international worlds because such analysis topographic points a major administrative load on states to expeditiously treat instances where mass migrations are involved. Therefore, the inability of refugee jurisprudence to supply less clip devouring process impairs people from expeditiously having the necessary aid.

Possibly the most important failing of the current definition of refugee is the fact that it is unable to supply any alleviation to people who are affected by war, civil discord, natural catastrophes, or serious economic breaks. [ 8 ] Although the jobs of displaced people may be different from the people who are actively being persecuted by the authorities, their demand for aid, particularly immediate assistance, is no less compelling. [ 9 ] Arguably, refugee jurisprudence was foremost conceived by the League of Nations as a tool for supplying protection to people who were displaced by assorted factors including war and civil discord. [ 10 ] It is submitted that the current limitations are inconsistent with the normative footing of refugee jurisprudence and therefore it fails to supply equal protection to people. In fact, it could be argued that the differentiation of political and economic refugees is often unreal because most political and racial subjugation is based on economic control. Trying to disassociate political relations from economic science in pattern is artful, because they are inextricably linked. It is submitted that the cardinal point is that refugee jurisprudence should be able to supply international protection to people who have been deprived of basic human demands, irrespective of the fact whether it was as a consequence of direct governmental actions or factors digressive to it.


In decision it is submitted that the current definition of a refugee in international jurisprudence seems to be unable to supply an equal solution given the current international worlds because it seems to be unable to supply the protection it was ab initio conceived to supply.


Treaties and Conventions

Convention Associating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951, 189 U.N.T.S. 137 ( in force in 22 April 1954 in conformity with Article 43 ) .


Fragomen, Jr. , A.T. , “The Refugee: A Problem of Definition” ( 1970 ) 3 Case West. Res. J. Int. L 45

Mendel, Toby, “Problems with the International Definition of a Refugee and a Possible Solution, ” ( 1992 ) 1 Dal. J. Legal Stud. 7

Nanda, V. P. , “World Refugee Assistance: The Role of International Law and Institutions” ( 1980-81 ) 9 Hofstra L. Rev. 449

Wydrzynski, C.J. , “Refugees and the Immigration Act” ( 1979 ) 25 McGill L.J. 154


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