Exclusion of Suspected Terrorists from Asylum: Trends in International and European Refugee Law
15 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2005
Date Written: July 2004
Pressure to automatically exclude terrorists from asylum has increased since the late 1990s, including exclusion based on mere membership of terrorist organizations. Such pressure has emanated from the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, regional organizations, States and even UNHCR. Yet terrorism is not listed as a separate ground of exclusion in the 1951 Refugee Convention, and there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorist offences which could serve as a principled basis of exclusion. In the absence of an international definition, reference to terrorism in exclusion decisions endangers refugees. Exclusion must be based on an individual assessment of whether a person meets the criteria for exclusion in Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Keywords: Refugee law, terrorists, asylum
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