Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Question of Refugees

Executive Committee Meetings

Question of Refugees

12 February 1946


8(I). Question of Refugees

The General Assembly,

Recognizing that the problem of refugees and displaced persons of all categories is one of immediate urgency and recognizing the necessity of clearly distinguishing between genuine refugees and displaced persons, on the one hand, and the war criminals, quislings and traitors referred to in paragraph (d) below, on the other:

(a) decides to refer this problem to the Economic and Social Council for thorough examination in all its aspects under item 10 of the agenda for the first session of the Council and for report to the second part of the first session of the General Assembly;

(b) recommends to the Economic and Social Council that it establish a special Committee for the purpose of carrying out promptly the examination and preparation of the report referred to in paragraph (a);

(c) recommends to the Economic and Social Council that it take into consideration in this matter the following principles:

(i) this problem is international in scope and nature;

(ii) no refugees or displaced persons who have finally and definitely, in complete freedom, and after receiving full knowledge of the facts, including adequate information from the governments of their countries of origin, expressed valid objections to returning to their countries of origin and who do not come within the provisions of paragraph (d) below, shall be compelled to return to their country of origin. The future of such refugees or displaced persons shall become the concern of whatever international body may be recognized or established as a result of the report referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) above, except in cases where the government of the country where they are established has made an arrangement with this body to assume the complete cost of their maintenance and the responsibility for their protection;

(iii) the main task concerning displaced persons is to encourage and assist in every way possible their early return to their countries of origin. Such assistance may take the form of promoting the conclusion of bilateral arrangements for mutual assistance in the repatriation of such persons having regard to the principles laid down in paragraph (c) (ii) above;

(d) considers that no action taken as a result of this resolution shall be of such a character as to interfere in any way with the surrender and punishment of war criminals, quislings and traitors, in conformity with present or future international arrangements or agreements;

(e) considers that Germans being transferred to Germany from other States or who fled to other States from Allied troops, do not fall under the action of this declaration in so far as their situation may be decided by Allied forces of occupation in Germany, in agreement with the governments of the respective countries.

Thirtieth plenary meeting,
12 February 1946.