- March 7, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Section: International Organisation
Context- The number of people ﬂeeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has topped 1.5 million, making it Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since the Second World War, the United Nations said on Sunday.
About Ukrainian Refugee Crisis:
- The Ukrainian refugee crisis is the large ongoing movement of people in and out of Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- It began with the initial invasion of Russian troops on 24 February 2022.
- The invasion has caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II; in just the first week, more than one million people fled Ukraine.
- As of March 6, 2022, according to the UN, the number of Ukrainian refugees exceeded 1.5 million people, more than half of them fled to neighboring Poland.
- Hundreds of thousands fled in the first few days after the attack. Most have found refuge in neighboring countries west of Ukraine: Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia.
1951 Refugee Convention:
- The 1951 Refugee Convention is a UN treaty that defines who a refugee is and establishes the rights of such persons and also of those who are granted asylum.
- It is also called the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees or the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951.
- The Convention also defines those who are not eligible for asylum status, such as war criminals.
- The Convention defines a refugee as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
- The Convention is both a status and rights-based instrument and is underpinned by a number of fundamental principles, most notably non-discrimination, non-penalization and non-refoulement.
- Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international law that forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”.
- The Refugee Convention also prescribes some minimum standards for the treatment of refugees with respect to giving those rights of access to justice, education, travel, etc.
- India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.
- The protocol expands the definition of a refugee given in the 1951 Convention.
- It also removes the Euro-centricity of the Convention.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
- UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is an international organisation working to saving lives, safeguarding the rights and providing a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
- The UNHCR was established in 1950 in the wake of the mass displacements caused due to the Second World War in Europe.
- The UNHCR is headed by the High Commissioner for Refugees.
- Its parent organisation is the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
- The UNHCR has also won the Nobel Prize for Peace twice (1954 and 1981).
- The chief legal document that governs the work of the UNHCR is the 1951 Refugee Convention.
- The organisation works in 135 countries and in India, has offices in New Delhi and Chennai.
- The UNHCR gives the Nansen Refugee Award annually to people who work in the field of refugee rights and protection.