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Individuals fearing returning to their countries of origin continue to arrive in Taiwan and are in need of protection yet Taiwan’s draft refugee act remains stalled. What role has the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) played in non UN-member states? How has UNHCR been involved in refugee protection in non-signatories to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol? As Taiwan is neither a UN member nor a signatory, are there any takeaways for Taiwan? This presentation provides an overview on the current refugee context in Taiwan, including relevant existing domestic legislation and the evolution of Taiwan’s draft refugee act. It examines UNHCR’s operations in Hong Kong and select non-signatory states to identify successes and challenges in refugee protection to derive lessons learned for Taiwan.

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