Being displaced and having to give up one’s home and live in an unfamiliar place is not something one would want to go through, but there are many who are being forced to do so. These people end up being refugees who flee their homes or country over the fear of being persecuted. As World Refugee Day 2020 approaches, we take a look at what the rights of refugees are. Also Read - World Refugee Day 2020: History And Significance Of The Day And Theme For This Year
As per the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is someone who has had to leave his or her home and country over fears of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world, who are often denied their most basic of rights.
What Are The Rights of Refugees:
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, refugees deserve to be given the same treatment as other foreign nationals in any country, and in many cases, the same treatment as nationals. But the 1951 Refugee Convention also highlights the obligations of refugees towards their host country, with its cornerstone being the principle of non-refoulement.
The principle of non-refoulement is that a refugee should not be returned to a country where he or she faces serious threats to his or her life or freedom. However, it does not apply to refugees who are deemed to be a danger to the security of the country or who have been convicted of a serious crime.
The rights contained in the 1951 Convention include, the right not to be expelled, except under certain conditions; the right not to be punished for entering the territory of another state illegally; the right to work; the right to housing; the right to education; the right to public relief and assistance; the right to freedom of religion; the right to access the courts; the right to freedom of movement within the territory; the right to be issued identity and travel documents.
Apart from that, refugees become entitled to other rights the longer they remain in the country they fled to, which is based on the recognition that the longer they remain as refugees, the more rights they need.
This year World Refugee Day 2020 on June 20 is running with the theme Every Action Counts, which aims to remind the world that everyone, including refugees, can contribute to the effort of creating a more just, inclusive, and equal world.