Foreign Policy Magazine

Why Do Some Countries Get Away With Taking Fewer Refugees?

With the signing of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the world put in place for the first time a system for defining refugees, setting out their rights, and granting them asylum. But in the face of the most dire refugee crisis since World War II, even wealthy countries with the means and ability to support those fleeing conflict are increasingly trying to close their doors. Here, YUN SUN, a China expert at the Stimson Center in Washington, and MARTIN SCHAIN, a professor emeritus of politics at New York University, discuss why an international system designed to help the world’s most vulnerable continues to fall short.

YUN SUN: The issue of refugees is very controversial in China. The overwhelming majority of

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