Established in 1950, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees overseas and sets standards for refugee relief around the world. It was created in response to the millions of displaced persons left homeless after the severe destruction of World War II and grew in importance as the Cold War and decolonization shifted political boundaries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and Caribbean. The 1967 Protocol enacts the terms of the 1951 Convention for signatory nations, including the United States. They leave to national governments the standards and process by which refugee and asylum cases are evaluated.
I. The General Assembly of the United Nations, by Resolution 429 (V) of 14 December 1950, decided to convene in Geneva a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to complete the drafting of, and to sign, a Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and a Protocol relating to the Status of Stateless Persons . . . .
PROHIBITION OF EXPULSION OR RETURN (“refoulement”)
1. No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion . . . .