International asylum law

International asylum law is a set of rules and principles governing the protection of persons seeking refuge in another country due to persecution, armed conflict, violence, discrimination or other situations that threaten their life, liberty or integrity. Asylum is a protection mechanism that allows individuals to request and receive international protection when their safety or fundamental rights are at risk in their country of origin.

The international right to asylum is enshrined in several international instruments, among which the following stand out:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, recognizes the right of everyone to seek and enjoy asylum in other countries.

1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: This treaty, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1951, establishes the definition and legal framework for the recognition and protection of refugees. It defines who is considered a refugee and establishes the rights and obligations of States towards refugees.

1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees: This protocol supplements the 1951 Convention and extends its temporal and geographical scope, eliminating the original cut-off date for refugee protection and allowing it to apply to situations after 1951.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: This convention, adopted in 1984, prohibits the expulsion, refoulement or extradition of a person to another state where there is a well-founded risk that he or she would be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons: This convention, adopted in 1954, seeks to prevent statelessness, i.e., the situation of a person who is not recognized as a citizen by any country, which could increase his or her vulnerability and hinder his or her access to rights and protection.

The importance of international asylum law lies in protecting the fundamental rights of people who are forced to flee their countries of origin due to situations of danger or persecution. It ensures that States provide refuge and protection to those in need and that they are not returned to situations where their lives or integrity are at risk.

In addition, international asylum law promotes international solidarity and shared responsibility among States to address the challenges of forced displacement and humanitarian crises. It is also a reflection of respect for the human rights and dignity of all people, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. In times of conflict, persecution and humanitarian crises, the right to asylum can be a crucial tool to ensure the protection and survival of those who are forced to flee their homes in search of safety and refuge.