Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2017, 10:48 GMT

Status of Uruguayans Abroad

Publisher UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Publication Date 7 November 1985
Cite as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Status of Uruguayans Abroad, 7 November 1985, available at: [accessed 23 October 2017]

A. Application of Cessation Clauses of the UNHCR Statute and the 1951 Refugee Convention

1. Recent developments in Uruguay, including the restoration of constitutional rule followed by the granting of a far-reaching political amnesty may duly be considered as events which make the cessation clauses contained in paragraph 6A (e) of the UHHCR Statute and Article I.C (5) of the 1951 Convention, generally applicable to Uruguayans abroad. It is therefore considered that Uruguayans who left Uruguay, due to the events which occurred in 1971/1972, and were recognized as refugees, can in principle no longer refuse to avail themselves of the protection of their country of nationality since the grounds for maintaining refugee status have ceased to exist.

2. With respect to refugee status under the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol, should Representatives be consulted on the matter, they should advise the authorities of UNHCR's position as stated in the preceding paragraphs. It must naturally be left to the governments of the asylum countries concerned to formally determine their position in this respect.

B. Legal and Practical Consequences

3. As far as UHNCR is concerned, persons falling under Section A above have in principle ceased to be refugees. Former refugees who still find themselves outside Uruguay will henceforth have the status of ordinary aliens whose continued stay in the asylum country will depend upon the authorization of the Government concerned. Based upon humanitarian considerations, UNHCR Representatives may find opportune to consult with the competent authorities with a view to obtaining a favourable determination of the migratory status for these former refugees.

4. Uruguayans who consider that they have valid reasons for not availing themselves to the protection of their Government or those who refuse to return to Uruguay invoking compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution should be afforded an opportunity to present – either to UNHCR or to the authorities of their country of residence – the reasons why they wish to maintain their refugee status. Such cases should be examined on their merits, and if there are indications that there are grounds for maintaining refugee status, the matter should be referred to Headquarters for advice.

5. In the case of former refugees being allowed to continue residing in the host country, the UNHCR Representative should fix a reasonable time limit for the cessation of UNHCR material assistance. In countries where UNHCR is not represented, the UNDP Resident Co-Ordinator may be consulted in this connection.

6. No assistance towards resettlement in third countries can be accorded to Uruguayans to whom the cessation clauses apply.

C. Individual Voluntary Repatriation

7. All Uruguayan refugees or former refugees who qualify for repatriation and who wish to be repatriated under UNHCR auspices should register with UNHCR or our operational partner for repatriation under the corresponding repatriation project by 31 January 1986, and should have reached their final destination by 31 July 1986. In countries where UNHCR is not represented, the UNDP Resident Co-ordinator may be consulted in this connection, and the voluntary agencies associated with UNHCR work should be invited to co-operate in the implementation of the repatriation programme.

8. It is considered that, in the absence of strong reasons to the contrary, Uruguayan refugees or former refugees who have not repatriated by 31 July 1986 will have clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to return to their country of origin in spite of the changes described in 2, thus excluding themselves from UHHCR repatriation assistance.

9. The need to complete the academic year of study prior to repatriation will ordinarily be a valid reason for former refugees for postponing repatriation beyond the date stated in paragraph 7. Decisions on such cases are left to the discretion of the UNHCR Representative.

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