Refugee Law and Legal Definition

A refugee is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, politcal opinions, or membership in a particular group.

Those who seek refugee status are sometimes known as asylum seekers and the practice of accepting such refugees is that of offering political asylum. Some governments are relatively tolerant and accepting of asylum claims; other governments will not only refuse such claims, but may actually arrest those who attempt to seek asylum. The most common such claims are based upon political and religious grounds.