News: UNHCR thanks India for taking care of 142 Rohingyas intercepted in Andaman


What's in the news?

       United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on December 25 expressed gratitude to Indian authorities at Andaman and Nicobar Islands for taking care of 142 Rohingya refugees, whose boat was intercepted by coastal security agencies near Shaheed Dweep a day ago.



       The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950 to address the refugee crisis that resulted from World War II.


Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland,



       It is a UN agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.

       It assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.


United Nations Refugee Convention 1951:

       It is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.

       It is the main legal document that governs the working of the UNHCR.

       It is also called the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951.



       It also talks about the responsibilities and legal obligations of countries that grant asylum status to people.

       Apart from that, the Convention also defines those who are not eligible for asylum status, such as war criminals.

       It grants certain rights to people fleeing persecution because of race, religion, nationality, affiliation to a particular social group, or political opinion.

       It builds on Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, which recognizes the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in other countries.


Other Key takeaways:

       The 1967 Protocol included refugees from all countries as opposed to the 1951 Convention which only included refugees from Europe.

       India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol.


Definition of Refugee:

       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.

       The Convention stipulates that a refugee shall not be prosecuted by a country for illegal entry.

       The Refugee Convention also prescribes some minimum standards for the treatment of refugees with respect to giving them rights of access to justice, education, travel, etc.