Snapshot of the Issue



Leviticus 19:33 - 34
When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

What is a refugee?

... is a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country" (according to all the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees). Every person has the right to live free from persecution, or the fear of persecution, based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Though every government is obligated to provide this right, many fail. Every year millions of people face persecution for traits they cannot control or exercising their religious or political beliefs. When governments fail to protect these rights, people have the right to move to a country that will protect them. This is the right to asylum. People who seek to exercise this right are called "asylum seekers" or, in some cases, "refugees." In 1951, the formal basis for exercising the right to asylum was established by an international treaty, the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Countries signing that Convention have an obligation to provide asylum or refuge to people fleeing persecution.





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