|| Principles concerning treatment
Treatment of Refugees THE ASIAN-AFRICAN LEGAL CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE AT ITS
EIGHTH SESSION, BANGKOK 1966
Definition of the term "Refugee"
A refugee is a person who, owing to persecution
or well-founded fear of persecution for
reasons of race, colour, religion,
political belief or membership of a particular social
(a) leaves the State of which he is a national,
or the Country of his nationality, or, if he
has no nationality, the State
or Country of which he is a habitual resident; or,
(b) being outside such State or Country, is
unable or unwilling to return to it or to avail
himself of its protection.
(1) A person having more than one nationality
shall not be a refugee if he is in a
position to avail himself of the
protection of any State or Country of which he is a
(2) A person who prior to his admission into the
Country of refuge, has committed a
crime against peace, a war crime, or a
crime against humanity or a serious
non-political crime or has committed
acts contrary to the purposes and principles of
the United Nations shall
not be a refugee.
The dependants of a refugee shall be deemed to
The expression "leaves" includes voluntary as
well as involuntary leaving.
(i) The Delegation of Ghana reserved its
position on this Article.
(ii) The Delegations of Iraq, Pakistan and the
United Arab Republic expressed the view
that, in their opinion, the
definition of the term "Refugee" includes a person who is
obliged to leave
the State of which he is a national under the pressure of an illegal act
as a result of invasion of such State, wholly or partially, by an alien with a
occupying the State.
(iii) The Delegations of Ceylon and Japan
expressed the view that in their opinion the
expression "persecution" means
something more than discrimination or unfair
treatment but includes such
conduct as shocks the conscience of civilized nations.
(iv) The Delegations of Japan and Thailand
expressed the view that the word "and"
should be substituted for the word
"or" in the last line of paragraph (a).
(v) In Exception (2) the words "prior to his
admission into the Country of refuge" were
inserted by way of amendment to
the original text of the Draft Articles on the proposal
of the Delegation
of Ceylon and accepted by the Delegations of India, Indonesia, Japan
Pakistan. The Delegations of Iraq and Thailand did not accept the amendment.
(vi) The Delegation of Japan proposed insertion
of the following additional paragraph in
the Article in relation to
proposal under note (iv):
"A person who was outside of the State of which
he is a national or the Country of his
nationality, or if he has no
nationality, the State or the Country of which he is a
at the time of the events which caused him to have a well-founded
above-mentioned persecution and is unable or unwilling to return to it or to
himself of its protection shall be considered a refugee."
The Delegations of Ceylon, India, Indonesia,
Iraq and Pakistan were of the view that
this additional paragraph was
unnecessary. The Delegation of Thailand reserved its
position on this
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Loss of Status as Refugee
1. A refugee shall lose his status as refugee
(i) he voluntarily returns permanently to the
State of which he was a national or the
Country of his nationality, to the
State or the Country of which he was a habitual
(ii) he has voluntarily re-availed himself of
the protection of the State or Country of his
(iii) he voluntarily acquires the nationality of
another State or Country and is entitled to
the protection of that State or
2. A refugee shall lose his status as a refugee
if he does not return to the State of
which he is a national, or to the
Country of his nationality, or, if he has no nationality,
to the State or
Country of which he was a habitual resident, or if he fails to avail
himself of the protection of such State or Country after the circumstances in
became a refugee have ceased to exist.
It would be for the State of asylum of the
refugee to decide whether the circumstances
in which he became a refugee
have ceased to exist.
(i) The Delegations of Iraq and the United Arab
Republic reserved their position on
paragraph I (iii).
(ii) The Delegation of Thailand wished it to be
recorded that the loss of status as a
refugee under paragraph I (ii) will
take place only when the refugee has successfully
re-availed himself of the
protection of the State of his nationality because the right of
was that of his country and not that of the individual.
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Asylum to a Refugee
1. A State has the sovereign right to grant or
refuse asylum in its territory to a refugee.
2. The exercise of the right to grant such
asylum to a refugee shall be respected by all
other States and shall not be
regarded as an unfriendly act.
3. No one seeking asylum in accordance with
these Principles should, except for
overriding reasons of national security
or safeguarding the populations, be subjected to
measures such as rejection
at the frontier, return or expulsion which would result in
to return to or remain in a territory if there is a well-founded fear of
persecution endangering his life, physical integrity or liberty in that
4. In cases where a State decides to apply any
ot the above-mentioned measures to a
person seeking asylum, it should grant
provisional asylum under such conditions as it
may deem appropriate, to
enable the person thus endangered to seek asylum in
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Right of Return
A refugee shall have the right to return if he
so chooses to the State of which he is a
national or to the country of his
nationality and in this event it shall be the duty of such
State or Country
to receive him.
Right to compensation
1. A refugee shall have the right to receive
compensation from the State or the Country
which he left or to which he was
unable to return.
2. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1
shall be for such loss as bodily injury,
deprivation of personal liberty in
denial of human rights, death of dependants of the
refugee or of the person
whose dependant the refugee was, and destruction of or
damage to property
and assets, caused by the authorities of the State or Country,
officials or mob violence.
(i) The Delegations of Pakistan and the United
Arab Republic were of the view that the
word "also" should be inserted
before the words "such loss" in paragraph 2.
(ii) The Delegations of India and Japan
expressed the view that the words "deprivation
of personal liberty in
denial of human rights", should be omitted.
(iii) The Delegations of Ceylon, Japan and
Thailand suggested that the words "in the
circumstances in which the State
would incur state responsibility for such treatment to
international law" should be added at the end of paragraph 2.
(iv) The Delegations of Ceylon, Japan, Pakistan
and Thailand expressed the view that
compensation should be payable also in
respect of the denial of the refugee's right to
return to the State of
which he is a national.
(v) The Delegation of Ceylon was opposed to the
inclusion of the words "or country" in
(vi) The Delegations of Ceylon, Ghana, India and
Indonesia were of the view that in
order to clarify the position, the words
"arising out of events which gave rise to the
refugee leaving such State or
Country" should be added to paragraph 2 of this Article
after the words
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Minimum Standard of Treatment
1. A State shall accord to refugees treatment in
no way less favourable than that
generally accorded to aliens in similar
2. The standard of treatment referred to in the
preceding clause shall include the rights
relating to aliens contained in
the Final Report of the Committee on the status of
aliens, annexed to these
principles, to the extent that they are applicable to refugees.
3. A refugee shall not be denied any rights on
the ground that he does not fulfill
requirements which by their nature a
refugee is incapable of fulfilling.
4. A refugee shall not be denied any rights on
the ground that there is no reciprocity in
regard to the grant of such
rights between the receiving State and the State or Country
of the refugee or, if he is stateless, the State or Country of his former
(i) The Delegations of Iraq and Pakistan were of
the view that a refugee should
generally be granted the standard of
treatment applicable to the nationals of the
country of asylum.
(ii) The Delegation of Indonesia reserved its
position on paragraph 3 of the Article.
(iii) The Delegations of Indonesia and Thailand
reserved their position on paragraph 4 of
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A refugee shall not engage in subversive
activities endangering the national security of
the country of refuge, or
in activities inconsistent with or against the principles and
the United Nations.
(i) The Delegations of India, Japan and Thailand
were of the view that the words "or any
other country" should be added
after the words "the country of refuge" in this Article.
Delegations were of the view that such addition was not necessary.
(ii) The Delegation of Iraq was of the view that
the inclusion of the words "or in activities
inconsistent with or against
the principles and purposes of the United Nations" was
inappropriate as in
this Article what was being dealt with was the right and obligation of
refugee and not that of the State.
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Expulsion and Deportation
1. Save in the national or public interest or on
the ground of violation of the conditions
of asylum, the State shall not
expel a refugee.
2. Before expelling a refugee, the State shall
allow him a reasonable period within
which to seek admission into another
State. The State shall, however, have the right to
apply during the period
such internal measures as it may deem necessary.
3. A refugee shall not be deported or returned
to a State or Country where his life or
liberty would be threatened for
reasons of race, colour, religion, political belief or
membership of a
particular social group.
(i) The Delegations of Ceylon, Ghana and Japan
did not accept the text of paragraph 1.
In the view of these Delegations
the text of this paragraph should read as follows: "A
state shall not expel
or deport a refugee save on ground of national security or public
a violation of any of the vital or fundamental conditions of asylum."
(ii) The Delegations of Ceylon and Ghana were of
the view that in paragraph 2 the
words "as generally applicable to aliens
under such circumstances" should be added
at the end of the paragraph after
the word "necessary".
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Nothing in these Articles shall be deemed to
impair any higher rights and benefits
granted or which may hereafter be
granted by a State to refugees.
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