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The Eurocentric 1951 Convention

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates how Western states' political and domestic interests inhibited the potential for a broader understanding of the refugee problem. It develops the Eurocentric argument in four parts. The first part focuses on the refugee protection organizations that existed prior to the establishment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and consider why these failed, necessitating the creation of the UNHCR. The second part examines the establishment of the UNHCR after the Second World War, and the purposes it was meant to fulfill. The third part looks at how political and region-centric concerns affected the drafting of the 1951 Convention. The final part discusses the process of drafting the 1951 Convention. It identifies how the marginalisation of non-Western approaches to refugees during the drafting process affected the newly emerging Southeast Asian states' perception of the instrument, its purpose and applicability to their specific refugee situations.

Keywords:1951 Convention; Eurocentric argument; refugee protection organizations; Second World War; Southeast Asian states; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Western states



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