UNHCR publishes updated guidance for states receiving asylum seekers from Syria

Monday, November 4, 2013

On 22 October 2013, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) released new guidance notes entitled ‘International Protection Considerations with regard to people fleeing the Syrians Arab Republic, Update II’. The update recommends that most Syrians seeking international protection are likely to fulfil the requirements of the refugee definition contained in the 1951 Convention on the basis of a direct or indirect, real or perceived association with one of the parties to the conflict. UNHCR states that there must be no requirement to be individually targeted in the sense of having been 'singled out' for persecution.

UNHCR notes increasingly strict admission criteria applied by host countries and urges all countries to ensure that persons fleeing Syria, including Palestinian refugees and other habitual residents of Syria in need of international protection, have the right to seek admission and asylum. UNHCR also reiterates that persons having fled Syria who cross international waters in search of international protection should be allowed to disembark at a place of safety. In addition, the paper provides more detailed ‘risk profiles’ of those fleeing persecution in Syria, including citizen journalists, bloggers, doctors, artists, persons with LGBTI orientation, Palestinian refugees, human rights defenders and humanitarian workers.

Read the UNHCR's updated guidance notes on the Refworld website.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.