Distr.
GENERAL
HCR/GIP/03/04
23 July 2003
Original: ENGLISH

GUIDELINES ON INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION:
“Internal Flight or Relocation Alternative” within the Context of
Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol
relating to the Status of Refugees

UNHCR issues these Guidelines pursuant to its mandate, as contained in the Statute of the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Article 35 of the 1951
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and/or its 1967 Protocol. These Guidelines
supplement the UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee
Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees
(1979, re-edited, Geneva, January 1992). They further supersede UNHCR’s Position Paper,
Relocating Internally as a Reasonable Alternative to Seeking Asylum – (The So-Called
“Internal Flight Alternative” or “Relocation Principle”) (Geneva, February 1999). They result,
inter alia, from the Second Track of the Global Consultations on International Protection which
examined this subject at its expert meeting in San Remo, Italy, in September 2001 and seek
to consolidate appropriate standards and practice on this issue in light of recent
developments in State practice.
These Guidelines are intended to provide interpretative legal guidance for governments, legal
practitioners, decision-makers and the judiciary, as well as UNHCR staff carrying out refugee
status determination in the field.

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