Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Ben Saul
Chapter 27: Terrorism and international refugee law
The United Nations Security Council publicly linked international terrorism to refugees in UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) in the wake of the attacks of 11 September 2001. Yet not a single refugee was involved in any of those attacks. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated soon after 9/11: Equating asylum with a safe haven for terrorists is not only legally wrong and thus far unsupported by the facts, but it serves to vilify refugees in the public mind and promotes the singling out of persons of particular races or religions for discrimination and hate-based harassment. International refugee law relates to terrorist activities in a number of ways. This chapter will first consider how far the threat of terrorism can form the context for persecution for the purpose of obtaining refugee status. It secondly explores how involvement in terrorism should be addressed in the law on exclusion from refugee status.
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