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Non-Refoulement- Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore


What’s in news?

Former Vice-President of Maldives Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, who secretly fled the Maldives on a boat to India, was held by Indian authorities near the coast of Thoothukudi.

Key data’s:

  • Adeeb was convicted by a Maldivian court in a plot to assassinate former President Abdulla Yameen and several other cases, but the country’s Supreme Court had quashed the sentence and ordered a fresh trial. 
  • The Police arrested him, when he was on board a Mongolian-flagged tugboat, Virgo-9, that set sail from the Maldives on July 27 on its way back to Thoothukudi after delivering bulk cargo. 
  • Tamil Nadu Director General of Police J.K. Tripathy said the issue was being dealt with by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and other central agencies.
  • There are designated entry points through which foreigners are allowed entry into India. The entry is facilitated on the basis of appropriate valid travel documents. In the instant case, since he was not entering India through a designated entry point and did not possess the valid document, he has not been permitted entry into India.
  • The Maldivian officials are on their way, to arrest the former President Mr. Adeeb.
  • But he seeks, for an asylum in India. There was not taken any decision regard this from our side. If India, handover him to Maldivian officials, it would be violating the International law.

International Laws:

1951 Convention:

  • Article 1 (A)(2) – defines the term refugee as “a refugee as an individual who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence who is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group”.
  • Refugee law and international human rights law are closely intertwined; refugees are fleeing governments that are either unable or unwilling to protect their basic human rights.
  • Additionally, in cases where the fear of persecution or threat to life or safety arises in the context of an armed conflict, refugee law also intersects with international humanitarian law.


  • Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international lawthat forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”.
  • It was recognized as a basic human right by the Art. 33(1) of 1951 convention.
  • It is expressly stated in human rights treaties such as Article 22(8) of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 3
  • The following are the 2 restrictions from granting a status of refugee;

Persons who otherwise qualify as refugees may not claim protection under this principle where there are “reasonable grounds” for regarding the refugee as a danger to the national security of the host country or where the refugee, having been convicted of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the host community. 1951 Convention, art. 33(2).

Other rights celebrated by a refugee are;

  • Freedom of movement
  • Right to liberty and security of the person
  • Right to family life
  • Rights to education, access to justice, employment, and other fundamental freedoms and privileges


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