Model laws on asylum and refugees that were drafted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) decades ago but not implemented by the government could be revised by an expert committee, according to Commission member Justice M.M. Kumar’s suggestion at a recent meeting.
- Though India has not signed the United Nations Refugee Convention, 1951, Justice Kumar said the refugees and asylum seekers were entitled to the rights in Articles 14, 20 and 21 of the Constitution.
- He highlighted the lack of a specific legislation governing refugees and asylum seekers.
- The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention or the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951, is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who a refugee is, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.
- The Convention also sets out which people do not qualify as refugees, such as war criminals.
- The Refugee Convention builds on Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in other countries.