Thursday, July 28, 2011

60th Anniversary of the Refugee Convention

Today, July 28, marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in 1951. The Convention defines a refugee as a person who does not want to return to his or her country due to a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Today, there are 15.4 million refugees worldwide, in addition to millions of other displaced persons . 80% of them are being hosted in developing countries. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Guterres, has used this anniversary to call attention to their plight and specifically to call on the members of the European Union to create common rules for asylum and to accept a greater share of refugees. More information can be found on the UNHCR website at


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