The Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture: Failures of China and the United States


This Note will focus specifically on China’s violations of the non-refoulement principle and its failure to carry out proper refugee status determinations (“RSD”). It will also consider the practices of the United States, which has also been criticized as violating the non-refoulement principle. Part I will discuss the background of China’s refugee policy, including China’s treatment of the North Korean refugees in 2002. Part II will discuss the current treaty obligations that China is failing to meet with its forced repatriation of the Kachin refugees and the international response to its actions. Part III will discuss similar failings of the United State of the non-refoulement principle and RSD requirement, in addition to the international response to it. Finally, Part IV will discuss suggested remedies, including the possibility of establishing a third-country asylum system.


China, United States, Myanmar, Kachin, human rights, refugee, non-refoulement, treaty, asylum, North Korea, refoul, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Refugee Convention, Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention Against Torture, repatriation, repatriate, expel, expulsion



Elizabeth Eschbach (Washington University School of Law)



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