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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):


Context:

The High Court of Manipur has allowed seven Myanmar nationals, who entered India secretly following the February military coup, to travel to New Delhi to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Observations made by the Court:

  • Though India is not a party to the UN Refugee Conventions, the country is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.
  • The far-reaching and myriad protection afforded by Article 21 of our Constitution, as interpreted and adumbrated by our Supreme Court time and again, would indubitably encompass the right of non-refoulement.

What is Non-refoulement?

It is the principle under international law that a person fleeing from persecution from his own country should not be forced to return.

About the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

  • It is a UN Refugee Agency and a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting the rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
  • It was created in 1950 to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.
  • It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNHCR.
  2. What is Non-refoulement?
  3. UN Refugee Conventions.
  4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
  5. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.

Sources: the Hindu.