Protection of Refugees in India

13 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2011

Date Written: November 9, 2011


India continues in receiving refugees in spite of its overpopulation where millions of people are below poverty line and are debarred from basic amenities. However there is no uniform legal framework to protect refugee. The main authority on the refugee law is the 1951 Convention Relating to The Status of Refugee which is known as Refugee Convention which defines the word Refugee. According to the Article 1 of 1951 Convention a ‘refugee’ is a person who flees across an international border because of well founded fear of being persecuted in his country of origin for the reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion and is not willing to go back to his home state.

Despite the fact that India is a host to diverse groups of refugees, the country has no specific laws or cohesive policy for refugees. India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention nor to its 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees. Therefore, the protection of refugees is confined to ad-hoc measures taken by the Government of India, leaving refugees with little protection for their civil and political rights and virtually no legal provisions for their safety and welfare. There is the need for the protection of the rights of refugees and to improve their situation in India with a mission to assist asylum seekers, refugees and other displaced populations in realizing their basic human rights and accessing the justice system.

This paper presents the analysis of refugee protection in India. Part II deals with Foreigner’s Act1946 as a prime legislation dealing with refugees. Part III deals with the constitutional protection to refugees. Part IV presents why India has not signed 1951 Convention.

Keywords: international, refugee, protection, india

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Gochhayat, Sai Abhipsa, Protection of Refugees in India (November 9, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Sai Abhipsa Gochhayat (Contact Author)

NLS - NUJS ( email )


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