The Cessation Clause of the Refugee Convention

According to Article 1C of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, refugee status shall cease to apply to a person under the following conditions (“the Cessation Clause”):

  • “He has voluntarily re-availed himself of the protection of the country of his nationality”; or
  • “Having lost his nationality, he has voluntarily re-acquired it”; or
  • “He has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality”; or
  • “He has voluntarily re-established himself in the country which he left or outside which he remained owing to fear of persecution”; or
  • “He can no longer, because the circumstances in connection with which he has been recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist, continue to refuse to avail himself of the protection of the country of his nationality…”

The Cessation Clause has been applied to various refugee populations around the world (i.e. Ethiopians in Sudan, Angolans in Namibia and Zambia), and is still being applied to populations in the global South.  The purpose of the Cessation Clause Working Group is to ensure that the Cessation Clause is not applied under circumstances that threaten refugee protection.

For more information, please contact Barbara Harrell-Bond.