Under international law, a refugee is a person who has fled the country of his nationality to avoid persecution or the threat of persecution.
The United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees gives a precise definition of the term.
Interestingly, the Convention of the Organization of African Unity extends refugee status to all persons fleeing their country because of an armed conflict or internal disturbances.
See Displaced persons; Stateless persons; Non-refoulement;



nationals of Occupying Power in occupied territory

    GCIV, 70

    PI, 73

as protected persons

    PI, 73 and 85/2

in the enemy country

    GCIV, 44




Suggested readings:
BUGNION François, “Réfugiés, personnes déplacées et droit international humanitaire”, in Revue suisse de droit international et de droit européen, Vol. 3, 2001, pp. 277-288.
Canadian International Development Agency, The Long Road Home: Opportunities and Obstacles to the Reintegration of IDPs and Refugees Returning to Southern Sudan and the Three Areas: Report of Phase II: Conflict, Urbanisation and Land, London, Overseas Development Institute, September 2008, 84 pp.
COLLINSON Sarah (ed.), Realising Protection: the Uncertain Benefits of Civilian, Refugee and IDP Status, London, Overseas Development Institute, September 2009, 62pp.
LAVOYER Jean-Philippe, “Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: International Humanitarian Law and the Role of the ICRC”, in IRRC, No. 305, March-April 1995, pp. 162-180.
MAURICE Frédéric & COURTEN Jean de, “ICRC Activities for Refugees and Displaced Civilians”, in IRRC, No. 280, January-February 1991, pp. 9-21.
Special Issue “50th Anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The Protection of Refugees in Armed Conflicts”, in IRRC, No. 843, September 2001, pp. 571 ff.
Further readings:
GOODWIN-GILL Guy S. & McADAM Jane, The Refugee in International Law, Oxford, OUP, 3rd ed., 2007, 786 pp.
MUNTARBHORN Vitit, “Protection and Assistance for Refugees in Armed Conflicts and Internal Disturbances: Reflections on the Mandates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees”, in IRRC, No. 265, July-August 1988, pp. 351-366.
PEJIC Jelena, “Article 1F(a): The Notion of International Crimes”, in International Journal of Refugee Law, Special supplementary issue, Vol. 12, 2000, pp. 11-45