6: Cessation and Exclusion

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As well as being gained, refugee status can be lost, taken away or denied. Refugee status may be lost when it is no longer needed because the refugee can return home. In some situations, this may be voluntary on the part of the refugee but the Refugee Convention also provides for countries of asylum to terminate refugee status on certain grounds even if this is against the refugee’s wishes. The provisions in the Refugee Convention addressing loss of refugee status are often referred to as the cessation clauses and are found at Article 1C. Refugee status is also denied in some limited circumstances. Denial of refugee status is aimed at those who would normally be entitled to refugee status but who are considered either not to need it or not to deserve it. These provisions denying refugee status are often referred to as the exclusion clauses and are found at Articles 1D, 1E and 1F of the convention. Article 1D excludes Palestinian refugees on the basis that they are entitled to protection from a different United Nations agency. Article 1E was intended to apply to historic groups of ethnic Germans in post-war Europe but is framed more widely so as potentially to apply to those who have rights equivalent to the citizens of the country in which they reside. Article 1F excludes certain individuals on the grounds of moral opprobrium in order to protect the reputation and integrity of the Refugee Convention. Cessation of or exclusion from refugee status are conceptually distinct from formal retention of refugee status but loss of the benefits of refugee status, including protection from expulsion or refoulement.

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