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Implementing International Refugee Law in the People’s Republic of China

DOI: 10.4236/blr.2018.91005, PP. 67-74

Keywords: Refugees, Asylum-Seekers, Refugee Convention, International Human Rights Laws, Indochinese, North Korean Migrants

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China’s implementation of international refugee law and its asylum policies have long been of interest to numerous state and international non-state actors, especially regarding specific migrant groups in China. Despite China’s high regards for international refugee law and a firm belief in the importance of international protection of refugees and asylum-seekers, international observers often argue that China is not meeting its legal obligations under international refugee law. The finding of this research is, despite China’s past implementation of favorable asylum policies, and improvements in its application of international refugee law, including the beginning stages of drafting a national refugee law; there remains a gap between China’s implementation of international refugee law and international norms. Thus, reforms are needed in China’s asylum practices so that it is consistent with international practices. One key factor for this gap is, China’s current legal framework and policies do not offer a long-term and durable solution for some refugees and asylum-seekers. Additionally, its asylum framework does not provide all conditions expected of a State that is a party to the “Refugee Convention”. Furthermore, China’s asylum policies differ among “persons in need of protection” regarding treatment and reception policy. The next crucial step for China in implementing international refugee law should be completing the drafting and adoption of national refugee law that is in line with the “1951 Refugee Convention” and “1967 Protocol”.


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