By Davis Uwizeye (Published 28th July 2016)
Today, 28th July 2016, marks sixty-five years since the adoption of the 1951 UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION RELATING TO THE STATUS OF REFUGEES, a refugee protection instrument that was adopted on 28th July 1951 to address the refugee crisis in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War. It was later amended by the 1967 Protocol to remove the limitations of time and geographical boundaries, thus making it a universal instrument. It is both a status and rights-based instrument that is underpinned by a number of fundamental principles most notably; non-discrimination, non-penalization and non-refoulement.
Despite growing criticism from a section of technocrats, diplomats and scholars, the fundamental significance and endurance of the 1951 Convention is still undeniable. It remains the only binding refugee protection instrument of a universal character.