Refoulement Law and Legal Definition

Refoulement refers to the return of an alleged refugee to his/her state of origin. It is the expulsion or return of a refugee from one state to another where his/her life or liberty would be threatened. Refoulement is explicitly prohibited by international treaties. For example, Article 33 of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees bars the expulsion or return of refugees in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his/her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion."