The Gambia Refugee Act adopts the definition of a refugee from the 1951 Refugee Convention and the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee.
The Act also includes protection of stateless refugees within its definition, including any person “not having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her former habitual residence owing to such fear as is specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection,is unable or is unwilling to retum to that country”.
The Act requires any refugee to present himself or herself before the authorities or the UNHCR within 30 days after entering the country or after the occurrence of the events giving rise to his or her refugee claim. A recognised refugee, according to the Act, is entitled to a Refugee Identity Card and a Convention Travel Document. The Act holds that a refugee may be expelled on grounds of national security or public order. In addition, it requires refugees in The Gambia to abstain from any subversive activities, including through the press, directed against The Gambia or any foreign State. The Act ensures refugees’ freedom to move freely within, and to settle anywhere in, The Gambia. This right, however, may be curtailed in situations of mass influx. The Act also establishes the Gambia Commission for Refugees, mandated to ensure its implementation.
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