Articles

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright was the United States' first female Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the US government. She was born Marie Jana Korbelova  When the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II, the family fled to England…

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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

We've all heard of Albert Einstein and his scientific theories. Yet few of us know of his days as a refugee, when his books were thrown into Hitler's bonfires, and as a German Jew, Einstein was accused of treason.

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Maria von Trapp

Maria von Trapp

"The Sound of Music" is one of the most classic musicals and popular movies of all time. The story was inspired by the experiences of Maria von Trapp and her book, "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers", published in 1949.The Trapp family was forced to leave their home in 1938 to escape Hitler's regime.

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Michaëlle Jean

Michaëlle Jean

Michaëlle Jean, the Governor General of Canada, was born in Port au Prince, Haiti. As a young child in 1968, she and her family left her country and sought refuge in Canada…

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Luol Deng

Luol Deng

One of basketball’s biggest talents, Luol Deng plays for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. He is an ambassador for the London 2012 Olympics and represents Great Britain in European competitions. But, he has never forgotten his past as a refugee escaping war-torn Sudan.

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Alek Wek has come a long way from her refugee roots.

Alek Wek

Alek Wek has walked the catwalk for Calvin Klein, John Galliano, and Donna Karan and has appeared in ads for Moschino and Victoria’s Secret. However, her glamorous lifestyle grew out of decidedly humble beginnings as, born in Wau in Southern Sudan, she was the seventh out of nine children.  In 1991, her family was forced to flee their country to escape a brutal civil conflict between rival religious factions. Only Alek, her mother and one of her sisters made it to the United Kingdom as refugees.

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Articles

Vietnamese boat refugees arriving in Malaysia, 1978

The Origins of Asylum

The concept of asylum has been in existence for at least 3,500 years and is found, in one form or another, in the texts and traditions of many different ancient societies.  In the middle of the second millennium BCE, as entities resembling modern states with clearly defined borders began to develop across the Near East, several treaties were concluded between rulers which included provisions for the protection of international fugitives.

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Bosnian refugees seeking asylum in Hungary

Who is a refugee?

International law defines a "refugee" as a person who has fled from and/or cannot return to their country due to a well-founded fear of persecution, including war or civil conflict.

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Links

Refugees Magazine

Refugees Magazine

Issue N° 148:
Refugee or Migrant - Why It Matters (published December 2007)

Read more (www.unhcr.org)
The 1951 Convention

Refugee or Immigrant? A complex issue.

It is difficult sometimes to draw a distinction between who is a refugee, and who is an immigrant.  Both leave their home countries to start a new life in a new environment, and both have to face similar challenges upon arrival in a new place.  To make things more confusing, different countries have different criteria for accepting people as refugees.

Read more (www.cbc.ca)