Draft Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Text of Articles Adopted on 17 July 1951

Article 2 General obligations

Every refugee has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulation as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order.

Article 3

The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to persons defined in Article 1, without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.

Article 4 Exemption from reciprocity

1.     Except where this Convention contains more favourable provisions a Contracting State shall accord to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to aliens generally.

2.     The rights and benefits already enjoyed by certain refugees, without regard to reciprocity, at the date of entry into force of this Convention shall continue to be accorded to them by the Contracting states.

In future, all refugees shall enjoy exemption from legislative reciprocity in the territory of the Contracting States after a period of three years.

3.     The provisions of paragraph 2 apply equally to the rights and benefits referred to in articles 8, 13, 14 and 16 of this convention as well as to rights and benefits other than those specified in this Convention.

Article 7 Personal status

1.     The personal status of a refugee shall be governed by the law of the country of his domicile or, if he has no domicile, by the law of the country of his residence.

2.     Rights dependent on personal status, more particularly rights attaching to marriage, previously acquired by a refugee, shall be respected by a Contracting State, subject to compliance, if this be necessary, with the formalities required by the law of that State, provided that the right is one which would have been recognised by the law of that State had he not become a refugee.

Article 30 Co-operation of the national authorities with the United Nations

1.     The Contracting States undertake to co-operate with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, or any agency of the United Nations which may succeed it, in the exercise of its functions, and shall in particular facilitate its duty of supervising the application of the provisions of this convention.

2.     In order to enable the Office of the High Commissioner or other appropriate agency of the United Nations which may succeed it, to make reports to the competent organs of the United Nations, the Contracting States undertake to provide them in the appropriate form with data, statistics, and information requested concerning.

(a)   the condition of refugees,

(b)   the implementation of this convention, and

(c)   all regulations, laws, decrees, etc., made buy them concerning refugees.


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