Author: Shefali Sangwan, Symbiosis Law School,Pune


This brief focuses on the steps that governments can take to address Coronavirus’s consequences (COVID-19) in situations of forced displacement in developing countries to ensure that no one is left behind. The brief examines the exposure of forcibly displaced persons to health risks and the pandemic’s socio-economic consequences, particularly in fragile contexts. It further highlights vital protection safeguards to be integrated to improve health systems and the resilience of societies. This article will be focusing on the principle of non-refoulement with the covid-19 context. The covid-19 pandemic has affected the globe nationally as well as internationally. Everyone has suffered a loss in one or the other way.


Governments have utilized Coronavirus’s danger worldwide to move back fundamental securities ensured under worldwide law. No place has this been more clear than with regard to worldwide exile law. One of the mainstays of global exile law is the rule of non-refoulement, which forbids any State direct “prompting the ‘return in any way at all’ to a risky unfamiliar domain, including dismissal at the outskirts or non-admission to the region.” As of late, governments have abused the guideline of non-refoulement by shutting their fringes completely and ending shelter preparation. The U.N. High Chief for Outcasts (UNHCR) has assessed that “167 nations have completely or somewhat shut their outskirts to contain the spread of the infection” and that 57 of those nations are “making no exemption for individuals looking for refuge.”  Article 14 of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR)[1] states that “everybody has the privilege to look for and to appreciate in different nations haven from abuse.” Even though the UDHR is explicitly nonbinding, the option to look for shelter that it enunciated has become the center mainstay of global displaced person law. Different parts of outcast law, going from non-refoulement to appropriate treatment assurances, come from this fundamental right.


The standard of non-refoulement builds up that the individuals who look for haven may not get back to a nation where there are reasonable grounds to accept they will get exposed to mistreatment. The standard is grounded in the 1951 Show Identifying with the Status of Outcasts (1951 Displaced person Show) and its 1967 Convention. The Convention stretches out the Show’s insurances to all exiles independent of the area or date of their dislodging, and critically, requires its 146 States Gatherings (among them the U.S.) to comply with the Show whether they are independently gathering to it. The standard of non-refoulement is likewise respected by the Workplace of the Assembled Countries High Chief for Evacuees to be a standard of common global law. Does a general wellbeing crisis award the administration has the option to criticize from the standard of non-refoulement? As noted above, article 33(2)[2] gives a displaced person can’t guarantee the Refugee Convention’s advantages. If “there are the sensible reason for seeing them as a risk to the security of the nation wherein he [or she] is,” may from the outset appear to allow an administration-wide carefulness.

Application in the Context of COVID-19

Coronavirus doesn’t concede states a reason to criticize their non-refoulement commitments. Recently, global fundamental freedoms specialists spread out 14 Standards of Security for Travelers, Exiles, and Other Uprooted People because of Coronavirus’s spread. These standards, while not authoritative all by themselves, are gotten from “global settlements and… standard worldwide law.” Guideline 6 alerts that “a State’s quest for real wellbeing objectives must regard the essential rule of non-refoulement, including non-re-visitation of a genuine danger of abuse, subjective hardship of life, torment, or other barbarous, cruel, or corrupting treatment.”

As noted over, the 1951 Outcast Show’s non-refoulement commitment permits exceptional cases for situations where a displaced person represents a danger to the host nation, yet that exemption requires an individualized assurance. As the UNHCR Warning Feeling explains, States can’t turn around refuge searchers as the fringe’s once colossal mob. In an ongoing report tending to lawful contemplation during Coronavirus, UNHCR noticed that States are “qualified for taking measures to find out and oversee dangers to general wellbeing” and in light of Coronavirus can actualize sickness screening conventions just as force isolates. Along these lines, States can take measures to guarantee that refuge searchers don’t spread Coronavirus to the nearby host State populace. It may incorporate testing and maybe isolating for as long as about fourteen days when there is motivation to accept that a haven searcher has presented to Coronavirus.



[1] UNDHR,1948,art.14,1948

[2] UNDHR, 1948, art. 33(2), 1948


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: