Eritrean Refugees Outside the Spectrum of the Refugee Convention?
Posted: 27 Apr 2014 Last revised: 31 Mar 2017
Date Written: April 25, 2014
For the last 50 years, the 1951 Geneva Convention has been the core instrument in determining who deserves refugee status. However, the Convention’s notion of a well-founded fear of persecution mainly targets individuals who have been discriminated against for reasons of race, ethnicity, political opinion, religion, nationality and membership to certain social groups. The author discusses how the Convention’s definition of a refugee is not necessarily applicable to most Eritrean refugees who fled their country due to deteriorating human security and violations of fundamental human rights. This is because persecution in Eritrea is not directed against people of certain categories, but it is a silencing tool to which the whole population is subjected. The author argues that the state-sponsored systemic violations of human rights, torture, imprisonments, killings, economic deprivations and denial of opportunities, freedom and protection should warrant the granting of refugee status on a prima facie basis.
Keywords: Economic Deprivation, Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Human Rights, Protection, Freedom, Security and Justice, 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
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