When someone is forced to flee their home country due to violence, persecution or war, they are called a refugee. The person has a reasonable fear that they will be persecuted because of their political opinion, religion, race or other reasons. These people are unable to return home or fear for their safety if they do so. Many people flee their countries due to war or other types of violence.
The 1951 Geneva Convention is an instrument of refugee law. The Convention provides information regarding exactly who is considered a refugee and what type of protection they are granted. The Convention also dictates how a refugee is obligated to their host country. While the Convention originally protected European refugees, it was expanded in 1967 to protect refugees from around the world.
A returnee is a refugee who has gone back to their own country. Despite popular thinking, most refugees prefer to return home than to stay in their host country. Most refugees return home once they believe it is safe to do so. Returning home is something that is encouraged by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The agency often provides assistance to refugees who desire to return to their home country.
Any refugee in Washington state who wants to return to their home country or wants assistance in seeking asylum should reach out to an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney can provide information and assistance to a person and help them determine which steps are appropriate for their unique set of circumstances.