According to this principle, no person can be transferred to a country where he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture or other form of ill-treatment, arbitrary deprivation of life or persecution on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

The principle of non-refoulement is expressed, with some variation in scope, in a number of international legal instruments, including in IHL, refugee law and international human rights law. It is also, in its core, a principle of customary international law.

It may preclude the Detaining Power from repatriating a prisoner of war or transferring a civilian (expressly provided for in own territories: GC IV, Art. 45(4)). In occupied territory, any transfer of protected persons is prohibited (GC IV, Art. 49).

Common Article 3 is largely considered as incorporating the principle of non-refoulement.

See Refugees; Displaced personsTransferDeportation (Forced Displacement);





 DROEGE Cordula, “Transfers of Detainees: Legal Framework, Non-Refoulement and Contemporary Challenges”, in IRRC, Vol. 90, No. 871, September 2008, pp. 669-701.

 GILLARD Emanuela-Chiara, “There’s No Place Like Home: States’ Obligations in Relation to Transfers of Persons”, in IRRC, Vol. 90, No. 871, September 2008, pp. 703-750