Definition - What does Refugee mean?

A refugee is a person who flees their home to avoid religious, social or political persecution; or who flees because of war, famine, drought, an epidemic, political upheaval or other types of disasters.

Refugee status is an important classification, granting holders certain privileges within the immigration law system.

Justipedia explains Refugee

Before an individual can achieve refugee status, they must demonstrate a reasonable fear of persecution for being a member of a religion or social group, for publicly holding certain political beliefs, or for the individual’s nationality or race.

Because refugees often flee one country to seek admission into another, international law comes into play. The governing document for international refugee law is the 1951 Geneva Convention. The Convention defines who a refugee is, the protections that refugees deserve, and the rights that they should be afforded.

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