International Refugee Legislation

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Protection of the rights of citizens are each individual states responsibility. Where this does not happen, and rule of law in a state breaks down, either because a government are unable or unwilling to provide protection of the rights of its citizens, then another country has a responsibility to step in to ensure these rights are respected, which is termed 'International Protection'. The international legal framework on which this protection is built, was developed in the aftermath of the Second World War in response to mass population movements, and the potential for destabilisation as a result.

1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, known as the Refugee Convention, is the main international instrument of refugee law. The Convention clearly spells out who a refugee is and the kind of legal protection, other assistance and social rights he or she should receive from the countries who have signed the document. The Convention also defines a refugee’s obligations to host governments and certain categories or people, such as war criminals, who do not qualify for refugee status. 

1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees

2003 Dublin Regulation

The Dublin Regulation is a European Union Law that determines which European Union Member State is responsible for the examination of an application for asylum, submitted by persons seeking international protection under the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention and the European Union Qualification Directive, within the European Union

2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants on September 19, 2016, which reaffirm the importance of the international refugee regime and contains a wide range of commitments by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move.