Truly Indispensable!


The Geneva Refugee Convention – officially known as the “Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the status of refugees” – turns 70. Hardly anyone feels like celebrating in view of the many violations internationally, but the occasion offers the opportunity to strongly support the Convention’s principles in face of all hostilities, because it stands for nothing less than the protection of refugees.

»Graffiti/Schatten auf einer Backsteinmauer, die ein Flüchtlingsmädchen mit ihrem Koffer zeigt« picture: linephoto, Stock-Fotografie-ID:1062664812
Teaser Image Caption
»Graffiti/Schatten auf einer Backsteinmauer, die ein Flüchtlingsmädchen mit ihrem Koffer zeigt« picture: linephoto, Stock-Fotografie-ID:1062664812

With changing global migration patterns and increasing numbers of refugees, the relevance of the Convention is often questioned. At the external borders of Europe, the United States, and Australia, the Refugee Convention is being blatantly violated due to pushbacks. Yet, as long as people are being persecuted in this world, the Geneva Refugee Convention cannot be dispensed with.

In 11 short statements persons of diverse backgrounds – artists, academics, refugees, activists – express their support for the basic principles of the Convention. We hope their voices will reach a large audience and hence make a difference.

Truly Indispensable! The Geneva Refugee Convention at 70

Gado a reknown Kenyan cartoonist expresses his views on European refugee politics in four incredible drawings which speak for themselves.

Abubakaer Adam Ibrahim talks about Fatima Muhammad, who was abducted by Boko Haram in Cameroon. The Geneva Convention was crucial in keeping her hope alive as a refugee and survivor in Nigeria.

Dr. Ali Nobil Ahmad expresses his conviction that ratifying the Geneva Refugee Convention by most states of South Asia, who failed to do so until today, would be a crucial step of ridding refugees' ongoing discrimination in the region.

Vincent Cochetel characterizes the Geneva Refugee Convention as a lighthouse, as the most important legal instrument which grants rights to refugees who are bared of any protection in the countries of their origin.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Krause sheds light on the genesis of the Geneva Refugee Convention and its amendment in 1967- the Protocol - which enabled a global sphere of action. She underlines the importance of the responsibility of the receiving states.

Maryam Moghaddam reads article 33 „prohibition of expulsion and Return (Refoulement)" - a key passage of the Geneva Refugee Convention.

Abdul Aziz Muhammat had to flee Darfur and got detained after a brutal push back on the Australian shored for 6 ½ years. He encourages action in saying „no detention centres and no camps!“

Nusrat Imrose Tisha reads Article 22 of the Genea Refugee Convention which demands equal rights for refugees in their host countries by e.g. granting them education.

Zehida Bihorac lives as a teacher right at the EU border - between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kroatia. She explains how the situation, underexposed by international media, made her become an activist.

Wolfgang Kaleck reflects on the multiple crises, which provoke refugee and migrant flows and demands global action.

Elise Caluwaerts reads Article 1 of the Geneva Convention which clearly defines, who is a refugee.