The 1951 Refugee Convention
What does The 1951 Refugee Convention mean?
The 1951 Refugee Convention consolidated previous agreements and internationally codified the rights of refugees. The document from this convention also outlined all persons who would officially be recognized as a "refugee" as defined in Article I. According to the convention, a refugee would from now going forward be defined as "someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion."
The underpinning of the decisions made at the conference was to eliminate discrimination, penalization and refoulement. The convention also recognized that refugee status may be given to individuals who breached immigration rules. The agreement prohibited penalties against asylum seekers who might have previously been charged with immigration or criminal offences relating to the seeking of asylum, or being arbitrarily detained. The convention further codified that a refugee should not be sent, against their will, back to their home country.