Refugee

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The 1951 Convention on Refugees defines a refugee as someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." People suffering economic hardship are therefore not entitled to the legal status of refugee, and are excluded from the rights which it may attract. The term is, however, commonly applied to people who have left their country because of the armed conflict raging around them. The phrase "asylum seeker" is often used for people claiming refugee status whose claim has not yet been accepted by the host country.