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  The Refugees

Convention relating to the status of Refugees

Adopted on 28 July 1951 by the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of
Refugees and Stateless Persons convened under General Assembly resolution 429 (V) of 14
December 1950 entry into force 22 April 1954, in accordance with article 43

status of ratifications


The High Contracting Parties,

Considering that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved on
10 December 1948 by the General Assembly have affirmed the principle that human beings shall enjoy
fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination,

Considering that the United Nations has, on various occasions, manifested its profound concern for refugees
and endeavoured to assure refugees the widest possible exercise of these fundamental rights and freedoms,

Considering that it is desirable to revise and consolidate previous international agreements relating to the
status of refugees and to extend the scope of and the protection accorded by such instruments by means of a
new agreement,

Considering that the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens on certain countries, and that a
satisfactory solution of a problem of which the United Nations has recognized the international- scope and
nature cannot therefore be achieved without international co-operation,

Expressing the wish that all States, recognizing the social and humanitarian nature of the problem of refugees,
will do everything within their power to prevent this problem from becoming a cause of tension between States,

Noting that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is charged with the task of supervising
international conventions providing for the protection of refugees, and recognizing that the effective
co-ordination of measures taken to deal with this problem will depend upon the co-operation of States with the
High Commissioner,

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Have agreed as follows:



Article 1. Definition of the term "refugee"

A. For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "refugee,, shall apply to any person who:

(1) Has been considered a refugee under the Arrangements of 12 May 1926 and 30 June 1928 or under the
Conventions of 28 October 1933 and 10 February 1938, the Protocol of 14 September 1939 or the Constitution
of the International Refugee Organization;

Decisions of non-eligibility taken by the International Refugee Organization during the period of its activities
shall not prevent the status of refugee being accorded to persons who fulfil the conditions of paragraph 2 of this

(2) As a result of events occurring before I January 1951 and owing to 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.

In the case of a person who has more than one nationality, the term "the country of his nationality" shall mean
each of the countries of which he is a national, and a person shall not be deemed to be lacking the protection of
the country of his nationality if, without any valid reason based on well-founded fear, he has not availed himself
of the protection of one of the countries of which he is a national.

B. (1) For the purposes of this Convention, the words "events occurring before I January 1951" in article 1,
section A, shall be understood to mean either (a) "events occurring in Europe before I January 1951"; or (b)
"events occurring in Europe or elsewhere before I January 1951"; and each Contracting State shall make a
declaration at the time of signature, ratification or accession, specifying which of these meanings it applies for
the purpose of its obligations under this Convention.

(2) Any Contracting State which has adopted alternative (a) may at any time extend its obligations by adopting
alternative (b) by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

C. This Convention shall cease to apply to any person falling under the terms of section A if:

(1) He has voluntarily re-availed himself of the protection of the country of his nationality; or

(2) Having lost his nationality, he has voluntarily reacquired it; or

(3) He has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality; or

(4) He has voluntarily re-established himself in the country which he left or outside which he remained owing to
fear of persecution; or

(5) He can no longer, because the circumstances in connection with which he has been recognized as a
refugee have ceased to exist, continue to refuse to avail himself of the protection of the country of his nationality;

Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to a refugee falling under section A (I) of this article who is able to
invoke compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution for refusing to avail himself of the protection of
the country of nationality;

(6) Being a person who has no nationality he is, bec

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