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Can International Law Come To The Aid Of Refugees?


The image of a little boy covered in blood and dust sitting in shock has shaken the conscience of the world recently. The boy, a victim of bombing in Syria, has once again brought to the forefront the issue of war refugees.


Some months back, a picture of yet another little boy wearing a red t-shirt and lying dead face down on a beach woke us all up to the tragedy of hopes and lives lost by bloody and meaningless wars.


These are just a few incidences of the horrible plight of war refugees that have shown up in the media. There are thousands of such stories that one doesn’t hear of. It is evident that the refugee crises has risen to monumental proportions of late.


While some war or the other has always been happening at one part of the world or the other and war refugees have always found it a nightmare, the number of war refugees have simply swelled of late.


However, it must be pointed out that according to the Principle of Non-Refoulement which is part of the Refugee Convention, people who are declared to be refugees cannot be forced to go back to the places from which they escaped in the first place.


In some instances they can be moved to another country if the current host country is not willing to retain them, but they cannot be sent back to the country from which they originated. This is widely accepted in most of the international human rights treaties as well.

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