The 1951 Refugee Convention: Article 3 Of The 1951 Refugee Convention

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The principle of equality and non-discrimination as spelled out in international refugee and human rights law plays a fundamental role in the guarantee of social and economic rights to refugees. Under the refugee law, Article 3 of the 1951 Refugee Convention provides that: “The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.”
From above it is clear that Article 3 of the Convention forbids discrimination only to the extent it is premised on race, religion or country of origin. However, the Preamble to the Convention makes a reference to the UN Charter and also to the UDHR as having affirmed “the principle that human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination” and the expression by the UN of, “its profound concern for refugees” having “endeavoured to assure refugees the widest possible exercise of these fundamental rights and freedoms”. Consequently, the 1951 Refugee Convention has its roots within the broad contours of the international human rights law framework.
Accordingly, the rights enumerated in several international human rights instruments, given that they apply to all people irrespective of status, must apply equally to refugees. As per the principle of non-discrimination under the 1951 Refugee Convention, either the refugees must be given the same treatment as is given to the nationals of the country regarding education, rationing,
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