The Government of the Republic of Nauru

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REFUGEE STATUS DETERMINATION

Summary:

On 28 June 2011 Nauru acceded to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951 and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees  done at New York on 31 January 1967. In 2012, Nauru passed the Refugees Convention Act which gives effect to the Refugees Convention in Nauru by incorporating the principles and obligations under the Convention into the laws of Nauru. This ensures that Nauru is satisfying its international obligations while at the same time giving effect to the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. The Act provides that a person may apply to the Secretary for Justice to be recognised as a refugee and enshrines the principle ofnon-refoulement.The Act also established the Nauru Refugee Review Status Tribunal which can review negative determinations. The Tribunal sits as a three member panel and must act according to the principles of natural justice.

The purpose of RSD is to determine whether an asylum seeker fits within the criteria of a refugee, as defined in Nauruan and international law. This determination can have profound effects on the life, livelihood and future of an individual, and Nauru is committed to providing a procedure which is fair, transparent and in accordance with the law.

In order to effectively implement its RSD functions, the Department of Justice has compiled the Nauru Refugee Status Determination Handbook.The Handbook provides detailed guidance on boththe lawrelating to refugees as well as step-by-step guidelines onthe processto follow when determining whether a person is a refugee.  The Handbook is primarily drawn from UNHCR documents and guidelines, and has benefitted from input and advice from international refugee law experts.

The process for refugee status determination, appeals and outcomes is illustrated in the Nauru RSD Process Map.