The Cessation of Refugee Status

In the book International Law written by Isagani Cruz, stated that “individuals are not merely an object but a subject of International Law” (Cruz, 42). With such note at hand, the international law together with the UNHCR established a mandate in which the refugees are given the right and the assistance whenever they needed. The UNHCR's mandate for Refugee Status Determination (RSD) is the main material in which promotes the protection of refugees against the vicious and life threatening causes of war.

The main purpose of the UNHCR is to determine if the individual is under the preferences of the United Nations. Through the power vested in the UNHCR they determine the people who are in deep need of assistance. The UNHCR mandate also provides the duties and responsibilities of the government and actors involved in the issue in order to rightfully protect the refugees with effectiveness and fairness. In addition, the UNHCR could also screen group of refugees’ are qualified within the criteria of the mandate.

Although the UNHCR is entitled to categorize the individual, procedures must be done in order to create a just analysis of the situation at hand. (UNHCR, 1-1) In the situation of the voluntary reestablishment of refugees, basing on the Constitution of the International Refugee Organization written within its preamble that “that genuine refugees and displaced persons should be assisted by international action, either to return to their countries of nationality or former habitual residence, or to find new homes elsewhere, under the conditions provided for in this Constitution” (United Nations, 1946).

Therefore, the refugees are given the right to be assisted and given attention if he or she needs to be evacuated in another state or if the refugees realize that it is the right moment to return back to their home states. However, the UNHCR mandate creates limitations and categorizes the refugees in order to view if the desire and the aim of the refugees will not be creating any commotion within the country of their choice or their home states. Just like other procedures, the UNHCR will screen the individual or the group in order to justify if it is the rightful time for them to go back from their voluntary reestablishment.

In the guidelines of the “UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees” which contains the procedures and criteria stated that: Due to the fact that large numbers of refugees voluntarily repatriate without an official declaration that conditions in their countries of origin no longer justify international protection, declarations are infrequent. Furthermore, many States Parties grant permanent residence status to refugees in their territories after several years, eventually leading to their integration and naturalisation.

(UNHCR, 2003) In addition, the Geneva Convention had stated that the Refugees have the right to have naturalization if the individual or the group decided that they wanted to stay in the refuge country that they have chosen. As stated in article 34 of the Geneva Convention: The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings. (Geneva Convention 32)

If the applicant was rejected due to not being able to attain the criteria of the UNHCR mandate and did not pass the normal procedures done by the committee, the refugee would certainly be discarded in his or her cessation as a refugee. However, the refugee could repeat the procedures of the cessation of refugees and submit another application but due to the past rejection of the refugee, the second processing of the papers would be affected. The past documents would evidently be recalled and seen by the committee as well as the past reasons for the rejection.

In order to reopen the files of the past a process of reopening the files is necessary in order to refresh the new and old documents. The same procedures are also done in order to determine whether an individual and his or her files could be recalled. In the Unit 9 of the UNHCR mandate it stated that: As a general rule, Applications for RSD by persons whose refugee claims have been duly examined and rejected under the UNHCR RSD procedures and whose files have been closed, should not have their claim re-examined.

This would include Applicants who have failed to exercise the right to appeal a negative RSD decision within an established period. However, in certain cases, it maybe appropriate to re-open a closed file and to refer the individual to RSD procedures. (UNHCR 9-2) In the situation of the cessation of Derivative Status, the main applicant of the Refugee cessation has the right to extend to the individual’s family members or his or her dependents. However, the cessation determination should not affect the right of the individual that is accorded to him or her.

The main claimants of the cessation have an independent declaration in comparison with the member of his or her family and dependents: “Cessation of the refugee stats of the Principal Applicant will extend to the derivative status accorded to the family members/dependents of the Principal Applicant. The cessation determination will not affect the right of the persons who has derivative refugee status to make an independent claim. ” (UNHCR 11- 4)