A refugee is anyone who cannot return to their country for fear of persecution for one of the following five reasons:

  1. Race – including ethnicity
  2. Religion – in some countries having no religion is viewed as badly as being of the ‘wrong’ religion
  3. Nationality
  4. Membership of a particular social group – this can include things like membership of a trade union, your gender (i.e. male or female), your sexual orientation
  5. Political opinion – this does not simply mean that you have to be a member of a political party, but if you have any political opinions, or even if people think you do.

Refugees are entitled to be protected against forcible return to their countries of origin.