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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

TOPIC AREA A: THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE CRISIS;


THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKING PEOPLE

Chair: Evina Karamanli, Co-Chair:Marija Markovic

HRC, TOPIC AREA A: THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE CRISIS; THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND
ASYLUM SEEKING PEOPLE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OVERVIEW

DEFINING THE KEY TERMS

WHO IS A REFUGEE

WHO IS AN ASYLUM SEEKER

WHO IS AN INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSON (IDP)

WHO IS A STATELESS PERSON

THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK IF THE INTERN. REFUGEE PROTECTION SYSTEM

WHAT RIGHTS DO REFUGEES HAVE?

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I. NON-REFOULEMENT

15

II. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

16

III. RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY OF THE PERSON

17

IV. RIGHT TO FAMILY LIFE

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V. OTHER RIGHTS

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CURRENT SITUATION

20

QARMAS(QUESTIONS A RESOLUTION MUST ANSWER

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FURTHER RESEARCH

22

ADDITIONAL SOURCES

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TOPIC A: THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE CRISIS:


THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKING PEOPLE

While every refugee's story is different and their anguish personal, they all share a common
thread of uncommon courage the courage not only to survive, but to persevere and rebuild
their shattered lives.
Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees

I. OVERVIEW

For centuries, protection has been granted to people who flee persecution. However, the
current refugee regime seems to be the product of the last fifty years of the 20th century. The
origins of the modern refugee law can be found in the aftermath of the World World II, due to the
refugee crisis of the precedent years.n refugee regime is largely the product of the second half of
the twentieth century.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR) guarantees the right to
seek and enjoy asylum in other countries.1 Other human rights instruments have also guaranteed
the right to seek and be granted asylum in a foreign territory, in accordance with the legislation
of the state and international conventions.2
The main controlling international convention on refugee law is the 1951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees (hereinafter: 1951 Convention) and its 1967 Optional Protocol
relating to the Status of Refugees (hereinafter: 1967 Optional Protocol). The 1951 Convention

UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10th December 1948, 217 A (III), article
14(1). Available at: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

Organization of American States (OAS), American Convention on Human Rights, "Pact of San Jose",

Costa Rica, 22nd November 1969, article 22(7); Organization of African Unity (OAU), African Charter on
Human and Peoples' Rights ("Banjul Charter"), 27th June 1981, CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58
(1982), article 12 (3). Available at: http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/. Last accessed: 10th August
2015.
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adopts a definition for a refugee along with the principle of non-refoulement and the rights
guaranteed to those who obtain refugee status.3
Nevertheless, regional human rights treaties have modified the definition of a refugee.
Moreover, the 1951 Convention does not clarify how contracting states should determine
whether a person meets the criteria to be granted the status of refugee. Thus, refugee status
determination and asylum proceedings are left to each State to develop. As a result, many States
are based on their resources, concerns about national security or precedent history with forced
migration movements.
All in all, any modern refugee regime must provide protection to people that were forced
to flee their home, since their country is either incapable or unwilling to protect them.

II.

DEFINING THE KEY TERMS

i. WHO IS A REFUGEE?

The definition of a refugee was adopted in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of
Refugees. It established that a refugee is characterised as a person owing to a 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 to or, owing to
such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country or return there because
there is a fear of persecution...4 Despite the aforementioned definition, the term can be still
misunderstood and used inconsistently.

UN General Assembly, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951, United Nations,
Treaty Series, vol. 189, p. 137. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html. Last Accessed: 9th
August 2015; UN General Assembly, Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 31st January
1967, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 606, p. 267. Available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/
ProfessionalInterest/Pages/ProtocolStatusOfRefugees.aspx. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.
4

Ibid., article 1(A)(2).

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Refugees that are forced to leave their country due to persecution, either as a part of a
mass exodus or on an individual basis. According the article 1 A(2) of the 951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees, the reason for persecution should fall within the following:
race (the term is used in a broad sense; it includes ethic groups and/or social groups of common
descent), religion (this term also has a broad meaning; it includes identification within a group of
people that share the same beliefs or tradition and active religious practice), nationality (it
includes individual citizenship; based on nationality, prosecution of cultural, national and ethnic
groups within a population may also be termed as prosecution), membership of a particular social
group (it includes people sharing similar social status, habits or background; it often overlaps
with persecution due to one of the other four reasons) and political opinion (it refers to beliefs
and ideas that are not tolerated bu the authorities, especially when these are critical against the
government, its methods and policies; it also includes ideas attributed to people, despite that
these people do not share that point of view).5

ii. WHO IS AN ASYLUM SEEKER?

Asylum seekers are are self-identified as refugees. There are people, who have fled from
their country and are seeking refugee status in another country. The difference between an
asylum seeker and a refugee is that they have not been included in the host states national
asylum systems to be granted the status of a refugee. This means that any asylum seeker who is
not granted that status of a refugee may be expelled by the country they denied entrance.6
The main problem concerning asylum seekers consists of the fact that a lot of states easily
grant asylum to them for various reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to distinguish what different
countries define as a social group. For example, even though the definition of a refugee is not
based on gender, Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgenders (hereinafter: LGBTs) are sometimes
5

Ibid.; James C. Hathaway, The Law of Refugee Status. 2nd ed. M. Foster, co-author. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2014; James C. Hathaway, The Rights of Refugees Under International Law.
Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005.

UNHCR, Asylum-Seekers. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c137.html. Last accessed:


9th August 2015.
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granted the status of the refugee, as members of a social group. Nevertheless, asylum
programmes do not include any such provisions, as they do not think they are serious enough,
and the LGBTs are sent back to their countries of origin.7
The increased number of asylum seekers resulted to the increased strain on the asylum
system of many host countries that have structured their policy in order to limit immigration.
Each and every state determines whether an asylum seeker can qualify as a refugee or not.
Consequently, each and every asylum system usually sets different standards. As a result,
denying entry to specific states that are characterised as unfriendly towards immigration becomes
much easier, even in the case that asylum claims are legitimate.

iii. WHO IS AN INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSON (HEREINAFTER: IDP)?

IDPs are people who have fled their homes to find safety to avoid persecution or out of
necessity but they have not crossed any international border. Consequently, they remain under
the jurisdiction of their home country, even if this very country is the persecutor, and retain
exactly the same rights as the citizens of guarantees.8
The protection of the IDPs consists of a major issue, since it does not fall within the
purview of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (hereinafter:
UNHCR). The main problem in order for the UNHCR to act is that IDPs remain under the
jurisdiction of the home state and, therefore, it will be violating the sovereignty of the state by
taking care of part of its citizens remaining inside their country of origin. Moreover, IDPs are not
registers, while refugees and asylum seekers are require to go through a countrys asylum
system. Thus, since an IDP has never crossed the boarders of their country, the are not required

Kelsey Lundgren, "International Protection for a Newly Surfacing Refugee Community", Migration
Policy Institute, 2nd January 2013. Available at: http://migrationpolicy.org/article/internationalprotectionnewly-surfacing-refugee-community. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

UNHCR, Internally Displaced People, UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c146.html. Last


Accessed: 9th August 2015.
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to do so. As a consequence, it is quite difficult to determine the exact number of IDPs, which
makes the aid process more difficult and challenging.9

At the end of 2014, a record-breaking 38 million people were internally displaced within
the their own country. This number is equivalent to the population of Beijing, London and New
York combined. In 2014, 11 million people were displaced for the first time due to violent
events.10

iv. WHO IS A STATELESS PERSON?

A stateless person is someone who is not considered a national by any state. Stateless
people may sometimes also qualify as refugees, these two categories are distinct.

III. THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK IF THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE PROTECTION


SYSTEM

The following international and regional treaties determine standards for the protection of
refugees and displaced persons:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) (article 14). It is the first international document
that recognizes the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution.11

Article 14
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

Ibid.

10

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Quarterly Update April - June 2015,


Internal
st
Displacement Monitoring Centre, 31 July 2015, p. 1. Available at: http://www.internaldisplacement.org/
assets/publications/2015/IDMC-quarterly-update-2015-QU2.pdf. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

11

UN General Assembly, supra note 3.

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(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from nonpolitical
crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

- Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949)
(article 44, 70). This treaty protects refugees during war. Refugees cannot be treated as enemy
aliens. 12
Article 44
In applying the measures of control mentioned in the present Convention, the Detaining Power
shall not treat as enemy aliens exclusively on the basis of their nationality de jure of an enemy
State, refugees who do not, in fact, enjoy the protection of any government.

Article 70
Protected persons shall not be arrested, prosecuted or convicted by the Occupying Power for
acts committed or for opinions expressed before the occupation, or during a temporary
interruption thereof, with the exception of breaches of the laws and customs of war.

Nationals of the occupying Power who, before the outbreak of hostilities, have sought refuge in
the territory of the occupied State, shall not be arrested, prosecuted, convicted or deported from
the occupied territory, except for offences committed after the outbreak of hostilities, or for
offences under common law committed before the outbreak of hostilities which, according to the
law of the occupied State, would have justified extradition in time of peace.

- Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the
Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) (1977) (article 73)13

Article 73 - Refugees and stateless persons


Persons who, before the beginning of hostilities, were considered as stateless persons or
refugees under the relevant international instruments accepted by the Parties concerned or
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12.

13.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Convention Relative to


the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention),
12th August 1949, 75 UNTS 287, article 44, article 70. Available at: https://www.icrc.org/ihl/
385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/6756482d86146898c125641e004aa3c5. Last accessed: 9th
August 2015.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Protocol Additional to the Geneva
Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed
Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977, 1125 UNTS 609, article 73. Available at: https://
www.icrc.org/ihl/intro/470. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

under the national legislation of the State of refuge or State of residence shall be protected
persons within the meaning of Parts I and III of the Fourth Convention, in all circumstances and
without any adverse distinction.

- Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951)12

This was the first international agreement concerning vital aspects of refugees life.

It

established a set of human rights, which should be - at least - equivalent to the freedoms enjoyed
by foreigner living legally in a specific country and even by citizens of that state. It underlined
the international character of the refugee crisis and necessity of international cooperation in order
to tackle the problem. 141 countries had ratified the Refugee Convention by the 1st October
2002.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter: ICCPR) (1966) (article 2, 12,
13). This is the main international treaty on civil and political rights stipulating that all
contracting states must ensure the civil and political rights of all the people within their territory.
The Covenant protects, as well, the freedom of movement and impedes forced expulsion.13

12

UN General Assembly, supra note 3.

13

UN General Assembly, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 16th December 1966,
United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999, p. 171, article 2, article 12, article 13. Available at: http://
www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/ccpr.pdf. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.
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Article 2
1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all
individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present
Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political
or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

2. Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each State Party to
the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its
constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws
or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present
Covenant.

3. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:

(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall
have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons
acting in an official capacity;

(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by
competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent
authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of
judicial remedy;

(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.

Article 12
1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to
liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
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2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

3. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are
provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public
health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights
recognized in the present Covenant.

4. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
Article 13
An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled
therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, except
where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, be allowed to submit the
reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the
purpose before, the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the
competent authority.

Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967). It abolishes any geographical and/or
time limitations stipulated the original Refugee Convention based on which mostly
Europeans involved in any event occurring before the 1st January 1951 were eligible to
apply for refugee status.14

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or


Punishment (1984) (article 3). Article 3 (2) states that a state should take into account any
circumstances threatening human rights before deciding on expulsion. The Committee
Against Torture, which is the monitoring body of this Convention, has adopted some
fundamental principles concerning the expulsion of refused asylum seekers. Thus, it may

14

UN General Assembly, supra note 3.

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offer protection to refugees using their right not to be returned to a place where they face
the possibility of persecution.15

Article 3
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where
there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to
torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities
shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in
the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human
rights.

- Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (article 22)16

Article 22
1. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee
status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic
law and procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by
any other person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment
of applicable rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights
or humanitarian instruments to which the said States are Parties.

15

UN General Assembly, Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment, 10th December 1984, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1465, p. 85, article 3. Available
at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.
UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20th November 1989, United Nations,
Treaty Series, vol. 1577, p. 3, article 22. Available at: http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/
crc.aspx. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

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2. For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, co-operation in
any efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or
nongovernmental organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such
a child and to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to
obtain information necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents
or other members of the family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as
any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any
reason , as set forth in the present Convention.

Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1994). It underlines the


particular vulnerability of refugee women.19

Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951
Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees. It is widely accepted
by practitioners and most governments as an authoritative interpretation of the Refugee
Convention.17

Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, Colloquium on the International Protection of


Refugees in Central America, Mexico and Panama18

17

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Handbook and Guidelines on Procedures and
Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to
the Status of Refugees, December 2011, HCR/1P/4/ENG/REV. 3. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/
3d58e13b4.html. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

18

Regional Refugee Instruments & Related, Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, Colloquium on the

International Protection of Refugees in Central America, Mexico and Panama, 22nd November 1984.
Available at: https://www.oas.org/dil/1984_Cartagena_Declaration_on_Refugees.pdf. Last accessed: 9th
August 2015.
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Council Regulation EC No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and


mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum
application lodged in one of the Member States by a third country national 19

Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the


qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as
persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection
granted 23

19

UN General Assembly, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 20th December
1993, A/RES/48/104. Available at: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/48/a48r104.htm. Last accessed:
9th August 2015.

- European Convention on Human Rights (arts. 2, 3, and 5)24


Article 2 Right to life
Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life
intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for
which this penalty is provided by law.
Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it
results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
a. in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
b. in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
c. in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.
Council Regulation (EC) 343/2003 of 18th February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for
determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the
Member States by a third-country national (2003), L 50/1. Available at: http://eurlex.europa.eu/
LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2003:050:0001:0010:EN:PDF. Last accessed: 9th August 2015.

19

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Article 3 Prohibition of torture


No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 5 - Right to liberty and security
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his
liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;

23.

Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and
status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need
international protection and the content of the protection granted (2004), L 304/12. Available at:
http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004L0083:en:HTML
Last
accessed: 9th August 2015.

24.

Council of Europe, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms, as amended by Protocols Nos. 11 and 14, 4th November 1950, ETS 5, article 2, article
3, article 5. Available at: http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf. Last
accessed: 9th August 2015.

b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non-compliance with the lawful order of a
court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law;
c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before
the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence
or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or
fleeing after having done so;
d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or
his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal
authority;
e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases,
of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;
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f)

the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry
into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to
deportation or extradition.

2.

Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he


understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.

3.

Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1.c of this
article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to
exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to
release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.

4.

Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take
proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court
and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.

5.

Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the
provisions of this article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

IV. WHAT RIGHTS DO REFUGEES HAVE?


International human rights law and refugee law are closely intertwined. Refugees are fleeing
countries where the government is either unable or unwilling to protect their fundamental human
rights. In addition, when the fear of persecution or threat to life or safety arises during an armed
conflict, refugee law intersects with international humanitarian law.
I. NON-REFOULEMENT
Non-refoulement is the basic principle of refugee law and refers to the obligation of
States not to return (refoule) a refugee to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom
would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular
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social group or political opinion.20 Non-refoulement is recognised worldwide as a human right.


It is clearly stated in human rights treaties, such as Article 22(8) of the American Convention on
Human Rights and Article 3 of the Convention against Torture.21 Moreover, both regional and
domestic courts have recognised and interpreted the right to life and the right to freedom from
torture in order to include a prohibition against refoulement.22 The principle of non-refoulement
also prohibits the mass expulsion of refugees.23

II. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

At a regional level, the right to freedom of movement can be found within the text of the
same article mentioning the right to seek asylum.24 These rights are related because the inability
for a person to return to their country is the foundations of an asylum claim; at the same time, the
ability of a person to leave their country consists a prerequisite for claiming refugee status.
Nevertheless, the freedom of movement is a fundamental right for refugees within the host
country.25 Specifically [e]ach Contracting State shall accord to refugees lawfully in its territory
20

UN General Assembly, supra note 3, article 33(1).

21

UN General Assembly, supra note 14; Organization of American States (OAS), supra note 2, article 22.
Available at: http://www.oas.org/dil/treaties_B-32_American_Convention_on_Human_Rights.htm. Last
accessed: 9th August 2015.

22

See R (on the application of) ABC (a minor) (Afghanistan) v. Secy of State for the

Home Dept [2011] EWHC 2937 (Admin.)


(U.K.). Available
at: http://
www.asylumlawdatabase.eu/sites/asylumlawdatabase.eu/files/aldfiles/UK_051%20Judgment.pdf. Last
accessed: 10th August 2015; ECtHR, Case of M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece [GC], no. 30696109, ECHR
2011, Judgment of 1 January 2011. Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001103050#{"itemid":
["001-103050"]}. Last accessed: 10th August 2015.
23

Organization of African Unity (OAU), supra note 2, article 12 (5).

24

Organization of African Unity (OAU), supra note 2, article 12 (1) and (3); Organization of American
States (OAS), supra note 24.

25

UN General Assembly, supra note 12, article 12.

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the right to choose their place of residence to move freely within its territory, subject to any
regulations applicable to aliens generally in the same circumstances. 26 At the same time, [t]he
Contracting States shall issue to refugees lawfully staying in their territory travel documents for
the purpose of travel outside their territory, unless compelling reasons of national security or
public order otherwise require.27

III. RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY OF THE PERSON


The right to liberty and security of the person is of great importance in order to
understand the way asylum seekers will be treated within the host country. The domestic law of a
number of countries foresees the detention of asylum seekers at some point during the
adjudication of the claim for asylum.28 Due to the current conditions in the detention facilities in
a number of countries, the detention of asylum seekers consists of a contentious issues.
Particularly, Greece, which is a host country for a large number of asylum seekers, is used
as a point of entry in order to access other countries in Europe. But which State is responsible for
a specific asylum applicant? This is why the Council of Europe issued the wellknown Dublin
Regulation.34 According to the Dublin Regulation, the State a third national first entered in
Europe is usually considered responsible for adjudicating the asylum claim.

29

Consequently, a

lot of asylum seekers are return to Greece in order to have their claims adjudicated. International
organisations have released reports concerning the condition of detention centres in Greece.
Moreover, there have been claims that asylum seekers did not talk to UNHRC representatives in
order to get information about the application procedure for asylum, while they were in

26

UN General Assembly, supra note 3, article 26.

27

UN General Assembly, supra note 3, article 28.

28

See 8 CFR 235.3(c) (U.S.); U.K. Border Agency, Screening; The Refugees Act, No. 13, Legislative
Supplement No. 7 (2009), Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 11 17.

29

Ibid., article 10 (1).

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detention.30 Last but not least, there has been a lot of cases held in the European Court of Human
Rights (hereinafter: ECtHR) concerning the conditions in the detention centres in Greece, since
they violate human rights to dignity and humane treatment based on the European Convention on
Human Rights.31

IV. RIGHT TO FAMILY LIFE


According to the ICCPR, family is considered as the natural and fundamental group unit
of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.3233 Consequently, several
countries grant the derivative status to dependent members of the family. As a result, dependent
relatives will receive protection though a person who is granted asylum. Nevertheless, the
definition of dependent relative varies from country to country.39

34

Council Regulation (EC), supra note 19.

Amnesty International, Amnesty International Annual Report 2012 - Greece, 24th May 2012, pp.
157160. Available at: http://files.amnesty.org/air12/air_2012_full_en.pdf. Last accessed: 10th August
2015.

30

31

ECtHR, supra note 24.

32

UN General Assembly, supra note 12, article 23 (1).

33

U.S.C. 1158(b)(3)(A) (U.S.). Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011title8/pdf/


USCODE-2011-title8-chap12-subchapII-partI-sec1158.pdf. Last accessed: 10th August 2015;
Immigration Rules, 2012, S.I. 2012/11, art. 339, Q (U.K.). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/
government/collections/immigration-rules. Last accessed: 10th August 2015.; National Refugee
Proclamation, No. 409/2004, art. 12 (Eth.). Available at: http://chilot.me/2011/08/29/refugeeproclamation-no-4092004/. Last accessed: 10th August 2015.; The Refugees Act, No. 13 (2006), Kenya
Gazette Supplement No. 11 24. Available at:
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V. OTHER RIGHTS
Other rights of refugees, such as the access to employment and justice, the right to
education, and all other fundamental freedoms are protected and enshrined in the 1951
Convention and other regional and international human rights treaties. Specifically, refugees are
granted equal access to the courts as the nationals of the State34, while they are supposed to have
the same income from employment as foreigners.35 Moreover, refugees have the same right to
both moveable and immoveable property as foreigners.36
Nevertheless, there are various countries do not enjoy the same fundamental rights or
equal legal protection. For example, Ethiopia expressed its reservation to articles 17 ans 22.
Thus, it treats these two articles as recommendations instead of obligations.

37

In addition,

Lebanon, even though it is not a contracting state to the 1951 Convention, it is a host country to a
large population of refugees, mostly Palestinians. However, its restrictive labour and property
laws prevent refugees firstly, from practicing professions that require syndicate membership,
such as medicine, law and engineering, and, secondly, from registering property.38

34

UN General Assembly, supra note 3, article 16.

35

UN General Assembly, supra note 3, article 17.

36

UN General Assembly, supra note 3, article 13.

United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, World Refugee Survey 2009 - Ethiopia, 17th
June 2009. Available at: http://www.refugees.org/resources/uscri_reports/archived-world-refugeesurveys/
2009-wrs-country-updates/ethiopia.html. Last accessed: 10th August 2015.

37

38

Human Rights Watch, World Report 2011: Lebanon,


worldreport-2011/lebanon. Last accessed: 10th August 2015.

2011. Available at: http://www.hrw.org/

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V.

CURRENT SITUATION

http://www.rckkenya.org/rokdownloads/Resources/Conventions,%20policies%20and%20legislation/The
%20Refugee%20Act%202006.pdf. Last accessed: 10th August 2015.

At the end of 2014, there were 19,5 million refugees all over the world, with 14,4 million
refugees to be under the mandate of UNHCR. 13,9 million refugees were newly displaced
because of conflict and persecution, creating 2,9 million new refugees. By the end of 2014, the
UNHCR has recorded 46,7 million people protected or assisted by it. In 2013, half of the
refugees were under the age of 18, making this one the highest number for child refuges during
the last decade. That makes them almost 2,9 million refugees more than the previous year.

5.1 million Palestinian refugees are registered at the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency (hereinafter: UNRWA). Over 86% of the refugees worldwide are hosted by developed
countries. Specifically, the largest number of refugees, which was 1,59 million refugees, were
hosted by Turkey. Syria is the worlds main source countries of refugees, while Afghanistan takes
the second place.
Around 38.2 million people were forcibly removed bu their home and displaces within
their home country without crossing any boarders.In the Syrian Arab Republic, IDPs reached the
number of 7,6 million people, due to the continuous fighting. Due to the Islamic States
(hereinafter: ISIS) offensive strategy, Iraq has witnessed a massive new internal displacement
across the country. The renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo displaces 1

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million people, resulting to 2,8 million IDPs in the country. Around 438,000 people remain
internally displaced in the Central African Republic. The erupted conflict in December 2013 in
South Sudan displaced around 1,5 million people within the countrys boarders. Security
concerns and renewed conflict in Afghanistan kept the number of IDPs at 805,000. However,
during 2014, almost 561 Congolese IDPs returned to their home. At the end of 2013, the Central
African Republic reported the return of 611,000 IDPs, followed by South Sudan (200,000 IDPs),
Mali (155,00 IDPs) and Yemen (85,000).

In 2014, there was the highest level of submitted applications for asylum, reaching the
number of 1,66 million people. The Russian Federation is the largest recipient of new
applications (274,000 asylum claims) followed by Germany (173,000 asylum claims) and the
United States of America (121,200 asylum claims).

VI. QARMAS (QUESTIONS A RESOLUTION MUST ANSWER

- What frameworks should be established, in order to enable host countries to possess


thorough monitoring mechanisms, when dealing with refugees and asylum seekers? How
host countries should balance and/or prioritize national resources with providing aid to
refugees? Are these frameworks effective enough to deal with the possibility of having to
provide long-term aid for refugees and asylum seekers?
- Considering the problems existing in each major country facing such issue, what
solutions will help those countries tackle them efficiently?
- What guidelines should be set to ensure the preservation of the rights of refugees and
asylum seekers, such as access to health care?
- Are the humanitarian actions in conflict-affected states and their neighboring countries
enough to help the refugees? What measures should be implemented in order for the
refugee problems to be sustainable in the long run, especially in the host countries near
conflict-affected States?
- What measures could the UN take, in order to solve the problem and its source, in the
aftermath of the recent events in the Arab World and the future consequences of a climate
change, which has already started to alter the international scene as we knew it?
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- In what ways may the Human Rights Council help in this crisis?

VII. FURTHER RESEARCH

- How are refugees protected?


- What are the obligations of a refugee?
- Are persons fleeing war or war-related conditions such as famine and ethnic violence refugees?
- Must every refugee undergo individual status determination?
- Can women facing persecution because they refuse to comply with social constraints be
refugees?
- What are the Trafficking Risks for Refugees?
- May governments deport persons who are found not to be refugees?
- What policies on refugees exist in different countries?
- Are policy-makers moving towards the right direction?
- How do states help refugees settle ?
- What is subsidiary or humanitarian protection?
- What is irregular Maritime Migration?
- What is the Pacific Solution?
- Are there asylum guidelines on stowaways or people rescued at sea?
- What does UNHCR do to protect refugees from physical assault?
- What is UNHCR's policy on resettlement?
- How are refugees and asylum seekers integrated in the host country?

VII. ADDITIONAL SOURCES


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- U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Available at:http://www.unocha.org/


- Guiding

Principles

on

Internal

Displacement. Available

at: http://

www.unhcr.org/43ce1cff2.html
- UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951
Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. Available at: http://
www.unhcr.org/publ/PUBL/3d58e13b4.pdf
- Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Geneva 28th July 1951,
Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, New York, 31st January 1967
- International Organization for Migration. Available at: http://www.iom.int/
- UNHCR RefWorld, database for searching asylum law and cases from a variety of countries.
Available at: http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain

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