Intergovernmental Refugee Body Head Suggests Basis for Defining “refugees” and “dp’s”
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Intergovernmental Refugee Body Head Suggests Basis for Defining “refugees” and “dp’s”

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Definitions which would provide a basis for placing persons in the categories of “refugees” or “displaced persons” were presented to the United Nations Committee on Refugees and Displaced Persons today by Sir Herbert Emerson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees.

“Refugees” would be defined as persons who had left their country of nationality or residence through fear of loss of life or liberty or because of religious or racial persecutions. “Displaced persons” would be those who were obliged to leave their homes by reason of World War II or were displaced inside their own countries by deliberate action of the enemy.

Whatever definition is finally decided upon, Sir Herbert said, there should be no distinction made among the various groups, and all needing help should receive it. He stated that whether a refugee was technically stateless or possessed the passport of a country to which he did not wish to return was irrelevant. He stressed, however, that while the refugees and DP’s should have the right to refuse to return, the Governments of the countries involved should not be entitled to refuse them entrance.

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