1950-1960

Dame May Curwen, president of the British Council for Aid to RefugeesIn 1951 UN Convention on Refugees established. Article 1 of the Convention defines a refugee as:
A person 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 or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

  • In the UK, the two organisations which would later merge to become the Refugee Council, are founded: the British Council for Aid to Refugees (BCAR) and the Standing Conference on Refugees (SCOR).
  • Following the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, BCAR was responsible for providing support for over 2,000 east and central European refugees from World War II, and 17,000 Hungarian refugees to Britain.
  • A residential home, Agnew House, was set up in 1957 for elderly refugees, many of whom were Holocaust survivors.
  • In 1968 and 1969 BCAR assisted over 900 Czech refugees who had come to the UK following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechslovakia.