Article 1D of the 1951 Convention

The previous section has introduced the exclusion clause as relating to criminality. However, Article 1D of the 1951 Convention excludes an additional group of individuals, not relating to criminality, from refugee protection under the 1951 Convention. It states:

This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance.

When such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the position of such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the benefits of this Convention.

The first paragraph of Article 1D excludes from Convention status Palestinians who are outside of Israel and the occupied territories due to the wars of 1948 and 1967. This is due to the role of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), created prior to the 1951 Convention, that had an initial mandate to provide relief and works program to this group. However, according to the second paragraph of Article 1D, when a Palestinian refugee is found outside of the jurisdiction of UNRWA, she is immediately included as a Convention refugee under the 1951 Convention. This case is of particular relevance when Palestinians who were refugees in Syria since 1948 flee to escape the violence seen in the Middle East.

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