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India bound by International law not to deport Rohingyas: UNHCR

India bound by International law not to deport Rohingyas: UNHCR

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says New Delhi is bound by international law to protect refugees who face danger in their home country.

Union government in its affidavit to the Supreme Court on the question of deportation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, took the plea that as India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention of 1951 or the Protocol of 1967, it is not bound by the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger.

However as reported by the New Indian Express, the human rights body UNHCR in an e-mail reply to the daily said: “The principle of non-refoulement is considered part of customary international law and therefore binding on all states whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not. In addition, India is party to major international human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

UNHCR’s India headquarters is in New Delhi.