Asylum landmarks in Europe

Topic Selected: Refugees

General Article icon Type: General Article

June 1921

The League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations, establishes the High Commission for Refugees which is mandated principally to help 800,000 Russian refugees.

February 1946

In the wake of World War II, the UN General Assembly establishes the International Refugee Organisation. Between 1947 and 1951 it helps 1,620,000 people, mainly in Germany and Austria.

January 1951

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees replaces the IRO and begins work. In July the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is adopted and provides the most comprehensive codification of refugee rights in history. The Convention is limited to persons who become refugees before 1 January 1951. States are free to limit refugee claims to victims of events in Europe.

January 1967

A Protocol to the Refugee Convention is adopted, extending protection to all refugees, whatever the date they were forced to leave their countries, and

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