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What are Refugees?

Refugees are those whom are unable to return to their countries because of fear of persecution.  

They are protected by international law, and must not be returned to their home countries where their lives are at risk.

The 1951 Refugee Convention protects refugees. It defines a refugee as a person who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail him or herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.

People who fulfill this definition are entitled to the rights and bound by the duties contained in the 1951 Convention.  

Some of the rights in the 1951 Convention :

The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions 

The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State  

The right to work 

The right to housing 

The right to education 

The right to public relief and assistance 

The right to freedom of religion

The right to access the courts 

The right to freedom of movement within the territory 

The right to be issued identity and travel documents  

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