Skip to main content

A New Standard for Evaluating Claims of Economic Persecution Under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Posted by on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in Notes, Vol. 44 No. 2, Volume 44, Volumes.

The United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees define the requirements for qualification as a “refugee” and the protection that should be afforded to qualifying persons.  Satisfying the Convention definition of refugee usually qualifies a person for asylum; thus, interpretation of its requirements can determine whether an alien is able to escape alleged persecution in his or her country of origin.  Currently, 147 countries are parties to the Convention, the Protocol, or both, including the United States.  In order to qualify for refugee status, an asylum seeker must prove a well-founded fear of persecution.  However, the Convention does not define what harm rises to the level of persecution, and there is no internationally accepted definition.  While physical harm easily suffices, confusion and inconsistency exist regarding when non-physical economic disadvantage constitutes persecution and what standard should be applied to such claims.  This Note examines the Convention, development of economic asylum claims in the United States, and trends in international approaches to this issue.  It then proposes a uniform standard consistent with general international principles that the United States should adopt.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Response

ExpressO Top 10 Law Review


The Journal is pleased to announce its 2018-2019 Board of Editors. Complete-Masthead-2018-2019

Vanderbilt University Law School Professor Michael A. Newton’s 2016 VJTL Article entitled How the International Criminal Court Threatens Treaty Norms  was cited by the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s November 2017 filing seeking investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan.

May 2018 Issue on the Second Israel Defense Forces International Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict. Read more about the Journal’s May 2018 issue here.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Journal’s 50th Anniversary celebration on October 5, 2017! View photos from the event here and read about the Journal’s history here.

Connect with the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law on LinkedIn.

The Journal is pleased to listed as the #5 International Law Journal by the 2017 Washington and Lee Law Journal Rankings.

The Journal is very excited about the success of our February 2017 Symposium, “Sovereign Conduct on the Margins of the Law.” Read more about our February 2017 Symposium here

Please join us in congratulating the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 2017-2018 Write-On Competition Winners.

Video is available from the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law’s 2015-2016 SymposiumThis is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters. Watch here.