Nonrefoulement

Nonrefoulement

Definition

A key principle in international law that mandates the nonreturn of a foreign national to a place of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Nonrefoulement does not require a country to provide residence permits, work authorization, or even permission to remain in the country. The scope of nonrefoulement varies with different international conventions. For example, the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees permits exceptions, allowing the return of an individual in the case of commission of a particularly serious crime or for national-security concerns, whereas the Convention against Torture permits no exceptions that enable a person to be returned to a place where torture is likely.

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