According to the 1951 Convention (Art.1 A), refugee is “a person who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it”. Refugee status remains valid as long as the grounds for its provision are in place.
Complementary protection is granted to a person who does not qualify for refugee status, but who left their country of nationality or former habitual residence and has well-grounded fear to face upon return*, and who is unable or unwilling to get protection there. Complementary protection is granted for up to 1 year. It can be extended if the grounds for its provision are valid.
UNHCR in Belarus works to ensure the safety and wellbeing of asylum-seekers, to advocate and facilitate the provision of refugee status and complimentary protection
Foreign nationals and stateless persons granted refugee status or complementary protection enjoy the social and economic rights similar to the nationals of Belarus. Children of people with refugee status or complementary protection are entitled to preschool and secondary education and medical treatment free of charge.
* namely related to the threat of death penalty, torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment, or the threat to life caused by violence in the context of international or non-international armed conflict