Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Cristina Cazacu Chinole
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_644

According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.” The Convention also defines a refugee’s obligations to host governments and certain categories of persons, such as war criminals, who do not qualify for refugee status.

Even if half a century has passed since its adoption, the 1951 Convention is the most important document that articulates the international system for protecting refugees. While the Convention offers the legal definition of a refugee, history has shown that there is a need for more legislation to address current refugee issues.

Although the definition of “refugee” seems quite straightforward, establishing who is a refugee is a rather complicated issue....

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Suggested Readings

  1. Medecins Sans Frontieres. (1997). Refugee health: An approach to emergency situations. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Refugee health. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/medical_notes/307644.stm
  2. Kemp, C., & Rashbridge, L. (2004). Refugee and immigrant health: A handbook for health professionals. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://bearspace.baylor.edu/Charles_Kemp/www/refugees.htm
  3. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home
  4. Refugee Council USA. Eligibility for U.S. resettlement. Retrieved from http://www.rcusa.org/index.php?page=eligibility-for-u-s-resettlement
  5. Refugee Health Information Network. Retrieved from http://rhin.org/default.aspx
  6. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (1992). Handbook on procedures and criteria for determining refugee status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 protocol relating to the status of refugees. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/3d58e13b4.html
  7. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (2007). Refugee or migrant – Why it matters. Refugees Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/475fb0302.html
  8. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Mental health of refugees, internally displaced persons and other populations affected by conflict. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/hac/techguidance/pht/mental_health_refugees/en/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Cazacu Chinole
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Ethics and Public PoliciesBucharest and IasiRomania