Recognising refugees: Challenges and innovations in refugee status determination

Recognising refugees: Challenges and innovations in refugee status determination

Our research project ‘Recognising Refugees’ aims to understand the factors that determine who is recognised as a refugee (and who is rejected) globally.1 In practice, recognition depends not only on the legal definition of ‘refugee’ but also, and most significantly, on the institutional processes used to recognise refugees. These processes may variously be called an ‘asylum procedure’ or ‘refugee status determination’ (RSD). They may be conducted by State authorities (border guards, police, migration officials or dedicated asylum decision-makers and judges); by UNHCR; or by a combination of State and UNHCR officials. The processes may be group-based or individualised.