Press Releases

Closing the Protection Gap for Palestinian Refugees experiencing Secondary Displacement to Europe
Closing the Protection Gap for Palestinian Refugees experiencing Secondary Displacement to Europe

BADIL, in partnership with the European Network on Statelessness published “Palestinians and the Search for Protection as Refugees and Stateless Persons” to raise awareness among European stakeholders involved in processing Palestinian asylum cases.


The research examines the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and domestic member states’ domestic courts concerning their interpretation of Article 1D of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its application to Palestinian refugees seeking protection due to secondary displacement and transfer. Additionally, the research explores the possibility of statelessness status vis-à-vis Palestinians as a means for protection.


While there has been some progress in recent years in certain jurisdictions towards an increased awareness of refugeehood and statelessness among Palestinians, they continue to face discriminatory legal frameworks and numerous obstacles to obtaining fair treatment as refugees and/or stateless persons.


As stated in its Closing Protection Gaps: Handbook on Protection of Palestinian Refugees in States Signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention (2nd Edition, February 2015), BADIL believes that the cessation of “protection or assistance” under Article 1D should be interpreted to mean that the cessation of either protection or assistance to Palestinian refugees triggers the inclusion clause of Article 1D on a general scale. As such, the inability of the UNCCP to fulfil its protection mandate triggered Article 1D’s inclusion clause, and the exclusion clause should not apply to any Palestinian refugees eligible for inclusion, since UNRWA doesn’t provide comprehensive protection to Palestinian refugees in its area of operation. However, neither CJEU jurisprudence nor UNHCR guidance adopts this approach.


Furthermore, a designation of statelessness does not impact or relieve Israel and the international community of their responsibility for durable solutions, namely the right of return, for Palestinian refugees.


This research paper constitutes the first of hopefully many collaborations with the European Network on Statelessness (ENS).