Home > About Us > History of UNHCR > The 1951 Refugee Convention 

The 1951 Refugee Convention

The Legislation that Underpins our Work

The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the key legal document in defining who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states. The 1967 Protocol removed geographical and temporal restrictions from the Convention. In July 2001, UNHCR published a special edition of its Refugees Magazine dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Convention (pdf,1.2MB)

The 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol

The two key documents at the heart of refugee protection. The 1951 Refugee Convention is the key document to refugee protection and the 1967 Protocol, which removed a deadline and geographical restrictions from the Convention.

The 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol FAQs

The most frequently asked questions about the treaty and its protocol.