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"Building a Better Refugee Status Determination System": Introduction (Report)

Refuge, 2008, Fall, 25, 2

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The numbers that provide a context for this issue on refugee status determination (RSD), though stark and well-known, bear repeating. In excess of two hundred million people live outside of their country of nationality. (1) Sixty-seven million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. (2) Twelve million individuals have no country of nationality. (3) Of these overlapping populations, only about eleven million (4) fall under the definition of "refugee" within the meaning of the term set out in the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (5) and as defined in the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951. (6) In these statistics lie the challenges of refugee status determination (RSD): determining who is a "refugee" and, conversely, who is not. As to how this task should be accomplished, neither the treaty nor the statute is of much direct assistance: there are 46 articles in the Refugee Convention and 22 paragraphs in the Statute of UNHCR, none of which address the issue of RSD. And yet every year, over half a million individuals approach state or UNHCR officials and seek a determination that they are refugees. In Canada alone, over 25,000 individuals seek recognition of their status as refugees every year. (7) Decisions are made by states and UNHCR in a similar number of claims and there is a slowly shrinking backlog of 750,000 individuals who continue to await a determination of their status. Decisions are issued by a variety of officials and institutions: administrative officers of a state, quasi-judicial tribunals, courts, members of the political executive of states, and by agencies of the United Nations. (8)

"Building a Better Refugee Status Determination System": Introduction (Report)
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  • 2,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: 22 September 2008
  • Publisher: Centre for Refugee Studies
  • Print Length: 30 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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