Am I a refugee?
To be recognized as a “refugee,” you have to:
Be outside your country of origin
Have a well-founded fear of persecution
For reasons of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or
membership in a particular social group
And because of your fear, you are unable or unwilling to get protection
in your own country.
This is the defi nition of “refugee” under international law - the 1951
Convention and 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
To understand if the defi nition applies to you, it may be helpful to
A well-founded fear is based on a threat of future persecution, not just past
Persecution may include a threat to your life or freedom, and can include
severe discrimination. Persecution does not need to be by your government.
It can be by a sector of society from which your government cannot or will not
Race includes your ethnic group, tribe or clan.
Religion as a basis for persecution may mean you are not allowed to be a member
of a religious group, worship in public or private, or get religious instruction. It
may involve being targeted because you are a member of a minority religion or
have views critical of the majority religion.
Nationality refers to citizenship, but may also include your ethnic or language
Political opinion as a reason for persecution may involve your holding political
beliefs that your government fi nds hostile. Your political opinions must be
known, or eventually become known, to your government to make a valid
claim. Your government may also falsely accuse you of holding hostile political
opinions, which is called imputed political opinion.
Membership in a particular social group means you belong to a group of
people who share characteristics, such as profession, labour union membership,
family, sexual orientation, etc.
If you are non-European and think you are a refuge