Women Refugees under International Law


Patricia La Salle


The purpose of this study is to examine refugees under international law, in particular the unique situation of women refugees. For this purpose, the thesis examines the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR), with particular attention to whether it is fulfilling its mandate in regards to recognizing and protecting women refugees. There has been more attention given to women in the last decade but there are implications that exist for each sovereign government imposing its own refugee laws. 


The thesis intends to prove that the Refugee Convention needs to be re-evaluated and re-written to explicitly include gender-based claims, particularly in regards to women.  Also, the Refugee Convention serves as an example of acceptable refugee law to individual countries and as long as the Convention fails to explicitly implement gender-related issues, so will the majority of signees to the Convention.