About the Refugee Convention 1951
The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention or the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951, is a United Nations multilateral treaty. It defines a refugee and establishes the rights of individuals granted asylum as well as the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.
People fleeing persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political beliefs are granted certain rights under the Convention. The Convention also specifies who does not qualify as a refugee, such as war criminals.
The Convention also allows for some visa-free travel for holders of convention-issued documents.
The key legal documents are the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. In contrast to the 1951 Convention, which only included refugees from Europe, the 1967 Protocol included refugees from all countries. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) serves as the ‘guardian’ of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol.