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Geneva Refugee Convention

The “Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees”, also known as 1951 Refugee Convention or Geneva Refugee Convention, was approved in 1951 at a special United Nations conference in Geneva. The multilateral treaty was developed in regard to the millions of refugees in Europe after the Second World War and thus was initially limited to Europe. The 1967 Protocol removed the convention’s geographical limitations. The convention defines who is a refugee and which protection and rights recognised refugees are entitled to receive. To this day, the treaty is the main instrument of international refugee law. Originally ratified by six countries, including the Federal Republic of Germany, 142 states have signed both the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol in 2015.