History of the Refugee Council
Six and a half decades of the Refugee Council’s work is anchored to the tenets of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The right to claim asylum is an international human right and the Refugee Council believes that all those who come to the UK seeking protection should be treated equally with others in society.
After World War II, millions of people were displaced across Europe and the rest of the world. It became apparent that an international agreement was needed to govern the treatment of refugees in Europe. 147 countries signed the Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol, which extended the Convention’s remit to the rest of the world.
Today the Refugee Council is the leading charity working with refugee and asylum seekers in the UK. We provide the widest range of services for asylum seekers and refugees. For as long as we are needed we will strive to ensure that refugees can find protection and are given the opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity, just as we have done since 1951.
Find out more
- The Refugee Council archive at the University of East London
- UNHCR webpage on the 1951 Refugee Convention
- UNHCR archives
- The Road to Refuge: this BBC slideshow and website from 2001 explores 50 years of refugees seeking protection worldwide with testimonies, photographs and interviews