Shaik v OFPRA

Date17 juin 1977
CourtRefugee Appeal Tribunal (France)
France, Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

(Heilbronner, Conseiller d'Etat, President, Fournier and Taviani)


The individual in international law Aliens Position of Protection by the National State Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 Article 1A(2) Minor child of female refugee Child having nationality different from that of mother Father deceased Child able to avail herself of consular protection of authorities of her country of nationality Whether eligible to be recognized as refugee The law of France

Summary: The facts:The appellant was born in Saigon in 1958, the daughter of an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother. She possessed Indian nationality iure sanguinis. She did not know India and had no family there. Following her father's death and the conclusion of the war in Vietnam she travelled to France where she was subsequently joined by her mother who had already been recognized as a refugee. Before reaching the age of majority the appellant applied to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) to be recognized as a refugee. Her application was rejected on the ground that she was an Indian national capable of availing herself of the consular protection of the Indian authorities. She appealed to the Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

Held:The decision of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons was annulled.

The protection extended to refugees by the Geneva Convention of 1951 also covered the minor children of refugees, in order to preserve the unity of the family.

The following is the text of the decision of the Tribunal:

The protection which the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951, ratified by France, is designed to extend to refugees would be rendered nugatory if it did not apply to the minor child of a refugee, so as to keep the child together with his parents.

It is common ground that Miss Farida Shaik, born in Saigon on 10...

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