Who is a Refugee?

A refugee is a person who “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 … “

– The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

Protecting refugees is the core mandate of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)


How are refugees protected?

Governments normally guarantee the basic human rights and physical security of citizens. But when civilians become refugees this safety net disappears. UNHCR’s main role in pursuing international protection is to ensure that states are aware of, and act on, their obligations to protect refugees and persons seeking asylum.


What rights does a refugee have?

A refugee has the right to safe asylum. However, international protection comprises more than physical safety. Refugees should receive at least the same rights and basic help as any other foreigner who is a legal resident, including freedom of thought, of movement, and freedom from torture and degrading treatment.

Economic and social rights are equally applicable. Refugees should have access to medical care, schooling and the right to work.


What are the obligations of a refugee?

Refugees are required to respect the laws and regulations of their country of asylum……

For more: http://www.unhcr.org/afr/publications/brochures/3b779dfe2/protecting-refugees-questions-answers.html#