Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dina Birman & Archana Basu
In 1951, the United Nations adopted the Convention Related to the Status of Refugee, which defines a refugee as 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….” (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], 2004) Refugees are specifically distinguished from economic migrants, who may leave a country voluntarily to seek a better life. Such immigrants would continue to receive the protection of their government if they were to return home. However, refugees flee because of the threat of persecution and cannot return safely to their homes. A key international organization that addresses the needs of refugees worldwide is the Office of the United Nations High ...