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Migrants or refugees?

Migrants or refugees?

While the terms "migrants" and "refugees" are often used interchangeably, to those making the perilous journey to Europe they mean a very different future.


Defined as a person fleeing a country fearing certain death or persecution as a result of religion, race, opinions or nationality. Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees are entitled to basic protections. They are able to apply for political asylum or another protected status. They also are afforded basic rights and protections, such as the right to shelter or legal assistance.


A person who moves from place to place, usually to get work or seek economic prospects. Migrants are not accorded the same rights and shelters as refugees.

Countries are free to deport migrants who arrive without legal papers.