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The Internal Protection Alternative in Refugee Law: Treaty Basis and Scope of Application under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and Its 1967 Protocol

The Internal Protection Alternative in Refugee Law analyzes the application of the IPA under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.

 

Being a refugee can be assumed as one of the hot topics in today’s world. A considerable number of people worldwide have had to or are currently leaving their homes due to persecution or conflict. These displaced persons are often forced to look for security at international borders. Taking these people under protection places several kinds of burdens on host states. Therefore, the 1951 Convention relating to the status of Refugees, followed by the 1967 Protocol came to be passed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol provide guidelines for member states to draft and promulgate refugee statutes. However, some member states create a condition in their statute; that if an individual cannot relocate in a safe place within their home country, then she or he can receive a refugee status under the 1951 Convention. In other words, these states do not give refugee status to individuals if they have an Internal Protection Alternative (IPA) within their home country. The 1951 Convention does not provide clarity on this conditional approach in dealing with refugees; it remains obscure and member states are free to interpret this condition per their convenience. Thus, the questions arise under what circumstance the IPA can be applied under the convention and is it consistent with human rights and related fields?

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