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Addendum to the Status and Treatment of Refugees

Publisher Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO)
Publication Date 13 January 1987
Cite as Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), Addendum to the Status and Treatment of Refugees, 13 January 1987, available at: [accessed 17 December 2017]
Comments Adopted by the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee in Bangkok on 13 January 1987. Text: Report of the AALCC at its 26th Session.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The topic "Status and Treatment of Refugees" was originally referred to the Committee for consideration by the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt in 1962. The subject was studied with the assistance and cooperation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and was deliberated upon at the Committee's Cairo (1964), Baghdad (1965) and Bangkok (1966) Sessions. At the Bangkok Session, the Committee made its final recommendations in the form of a set of eight principles (subsequently known as the Bangkok Principles) which, inter alia, contained the definition of the term 'refugee" and certain norms on the question of asylum, right of return, right to compensation, minimum standard of treatment, obligations of refugees, expulsion and deportation.

The topic was taken up for further consideration at the request of the Government of Pakistan at the Karachi Session in 1969 and then at the Accra Session in 1970 where the Committee adopted an "addendum" to the Bangkok Principles. The addendum contained an elaboration on the "right to return" of any person who, because of foreign domination, external aggression or occupation had left his habitual place of residence. At its seventeenth session in Kuala Lumpur in 1976, the Committee considered a related topic, namely, Territorial Asylum in the context of preparations for a United Nations Convention. Thereafter some proposals were received from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1980 that the Committee should revive consideration of the subject in the context of new developments that were taking place in the practice of States to deal with refugee situations.

At the Tokyo Session (1983) after a general exchange of views, it was decided that the AALCC's Secretariat should prepare in collaboration with the Office of the UNHCR a study on the principle of burden sharing as also another study on the doctrine of State responsibility in relation to the problem of refugees. A paper setting forth the evolution of the principles and norms on the question of burden sharing as developed through practice of States was accordingly placed before the Kathmandu Session and was discussed in the Plenary.

In the light of the exchange of views and the material placed before the Committee during the deliberations of the Kathmandu and Arusha Sessions the conclusion could be drawn that the principle of international solidarity in dealing with the refugee situations and the concept of burden sharing in that context paper by now to be firmly established in the practice of States. This development in the field of humanitarian refugee law is attributable largely to the international concern in the context of the United Nations Charter to preserve human life, to diminish human suffering, to provide for the well-being of all men and to assist States in providing protection and assistance to refugees and in seeking solutions to the problem of refugees. Furthermore, there has been a growing trend towards finding durable solutions to the problem of refugees and for international assistance to relieve the burden of the States faced with large-scale influx of refugees.

The Committee, having regard to the aforesaid considerations decides to make the following recommendations as additional principles to supplement those contained in the Bangkok Principles of 1966:

I. The refugee phenomenon continues to be a matter of global concern and needs the support of the international community as a whole for its solution and as such the principle of burden sharing should be viewed in that context.

II. The principle of international solidarity and burden sharing needs to be applied progressively to facilitate the process of durable solutions for refugees whether within or outside a particular region, keeping in perspective that durable solutions in certain situations may need to be found by allowing access to refugees in countries outside the region due to political, social and economic considerations.

III. The principle of international solidarity and burden sharing should be seen as applying to all aspects of the refugee situation, including the development and strengthening of the standards of treatment of refugees, support to States in protecting and assisting refugees, the provision of durable solution and the support of international bodies with responsibilities for the protection and assistance of refugees.

IV. International solidarity and cooperation in burden sharing should be manifested whenever necessary, through effective concrete measures in support of States requiring assistance, whether through financial or material aid or through resettlement opportunities. 

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