Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: Rohingya refugee crisis
- Two Rohingya refugees who have challenged the government’s proposed move to deport them
View of Ministry of Home Affairs
- Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Supreme Court that the principle of non-refoulement was not binding on it since India had not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention.
- MHA said though India was a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, its scope did not extend to non-refoulement.
View of Ministry of External Affairs
- Contrary to the government stand in court, India took a strong position in favour of non-refoulement this year, at an international meet in Geneva convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- The states agreed that protecting those who are forced to flee and supporting the countries that shelter them are shared international responsibilities, to be borne “more equitably and predictably”.
- The UNHCR says it covers all refugees, including those those who flee individual persecution, as well as those fleeing armed conflict or violence associated with one or more of the above-noted grounds.
Principle of Non-refoulement
- It is a fundamental principle of international law which forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”
- Unlike political asylum, which applies to those who can prove a well-grounded fear of persecution based on certain category of persons, non-refoulement refers to the generic repatriation of people, including refugees into war zones and other disaster locales.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted by the UNGA in 1966.
- It guarantees fundamental freedoms including the right to self-determination and free and regular elections.
- China is also a signatory but it has never been ratified.
- However, though ICCPR is just a treaty for other countries, it is binding in Hong Kong due to the special nature and circumstances surrounding the province