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Convention on Refugees to Come into Effect; Australia Ratifies

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At a ceremony here this week-end, Australia became the sixth nation to deposit an accession to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. With the Australian action, the convention will come into force under international law on April 22. The other five nations which have ratified or acceded to the document are Belgium, Denmark, West Germany, Luxemburg and Norway.

The convention establishes minimum rights for refugees under the mandate of the UN High Commission for Refugees, including the right of asylum, right to work, right to education and to freedom of religion. It also establishes a procedure for the issuance of travel documents to refugees. The convention was adopted at a 26-nation conference under UN auspices at Geneva in July, 1951. Beside the six which have already deposited their accessions or ratifications, the document has been signed by 15 other states, including Israel.

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