SC to study Centre’s query on ‘refugee’ status for illegal immigrants

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  1. The Supreme Court has agreed to examine on the question of whether the illegal immigrants can even be considered for refugee status.
  2. This hearing came on a petition of Rohingyas who had moved the Supreme Court against the Centre’s proposed plan to deport Rohingyas to the land of their origin which is Myanmar.
  3. Rohingya is an ethnic group largely comprising Muslims who predominantly live in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine.They speak a dialect of Bengali as opposed to the commonly spoken Burmese language in Myanmar.
  4. They have not been granted full citizenship by Myanmar.They are classified as resident foreigners or associate citizens.
  5. Lakhs of Rohingyas have been displaced with majority of them seeking refuge in Bangladesh and India.In India,there are nearly 40,000 Rohingya refugees.
  6. Further,India does not have a specific law regarding refugees.India has also not been a signatory of the 1951 UN Convention or the 1967 Protocol – both relating to the Status of Refugees and included in the UNHCR statute.
  7. According to the UNHCR,a refugee is a person living in another country following persecution in his own on the grounds of “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”