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Temporary Refuge

Executive Committee Meetings

Temporary Refuge
No. 19 (XXXI) - 1980

16 October 1980
Executive Committee 31st session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/35/12/Add.1). Conclusion endorsed by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme upon the recommendation of the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection of Refugees.

The Executive Committee,

(a) Reaffirmed the essential need for the humanitarian legal principle of non-refoulement to be scrupulously observed in all situations of large-scale influx;

(b) Recalled the conclusions on the question of temporary refuge adopted by the Executive Committee at its thirtieth session and, in particular:

(i) that in the case of large-scale influx, persons seeking asylum should always receive at least temporary refuge; and

(ii) that States which, because of their geographical situation or otherwise, are faced with a large-scale influx, should as necessary and at the request of the State concerned receive immediate assistance from other States in accordance with the principle of equitable burden-sharing;

(c) Took note of the extensive practice of granting temporary refuge in situations involving a large-scale influx of refugees;

(d) Stressed the fundamental importance of the provisions of the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, and of the 1967 United Nations Declaration on Territorial Asylum and the need for constant advice by UNHCR on the practical application of these provisions by countries exposed to a large-scale influx of refugees;

(e) Stressed the exceptional character of temporary refuge and the essential need for persons to whom temporary refuge has been granted to enjoy basic humanitarian standards of treatment;

(f) Recognized the need to define the nature, function and implications of the grant of temporary refuge;

(g) Considered that the practice of temporary refuge had not been sufficiently examined and should be further studied, particularly in regard to (i) procedures for the admission of refugees, (ii) their status pending a durable solution, (iii) the implications of temporary refuge for international solidarity, including burden sharing;

(h) Decided to request the High Commissioner to convene as soon as possible a representative group of experts to examine temporary refuge in all its aspects within the framework of the problems raised by large-scale influx and to provide the group with all possible assistance.