What rights does a refugee have?

Refugees have specific rights pertaining to their refugee status, such as the right to protection from refoulement (under the principle of non-refoulement, a receiving country is forbidden to return refugees to a country where they would be in danger of persecution), the right to education, freedom of movement and family life.

Refugees have specific rights pertaining to their refugee status, such as the right to protection from refoulement (under the principle of non-refoulement, a receiving country is forbidden to return refugees to a country where they would be in danger of persecution), the right to education, freedom of movement and family life.

They also have the same basic human rights as everyone else: the right to life, freedom from arbitrary detention and discrimination, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and receive education, and many more. Unfortunately, these rights are not always respected. Just as everyone else, refugees have the right to a dignified life and should enjoy these rights and opportunities on equal terms.

There are also rights that apply to certain groups of refugees. For example, refugee children are protected by the Convention on the Rights of a Child, which outlines the right to personal life and development; family life; health and well-being; safety and protection; and participation in the community. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) highlights specific rights that pertain to refugee women and girls, ensuring access to food, housing, water, sanitation, health services (including sexual and reproductive services), education, economic activities and ways to escape poverty and gender-based violence, including domestic violence. Finally, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) outlines rights such as eliminating disability discrimination; enabling people with disability to live independently in the community; ensuring inclusive education; and protecting from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse.