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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Refugee protection for people with mental disabilities under international law Tsiakos, George

Abstract

The major international instrument providing asylum to refugees is the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (collectively, the Refugee Convention). The Refugee Convention provides international protection to individuals fleeing persecution in their countries of origin. This thesis argues that the continuing cruel, degrading, discriminating, and inhumane treatment of people with mental disabilities in some countries of the world constitutes persecution under the Refugee Convention. Furthermore, this thesis argues that the language of the Refugee Convention and recent developments in case law relating to the scope of the "particular social group" category support the right of individuals with mental disabilities to seek international protection if they fear being persecuted on account of their particular mental disability. As a result, individuals who fear such treatment for reasons of their mental disability should be entitled to refugee protection.

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