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  • Foto del escritorVilerka Bilbao

Human Right to Asylum

Actualizado: 5 ago 2020

What is Asylum? What does it mean when we say we have a HUMAN right to seek asylum? Asylum is a protection for humans that was created after World War II. As a result of the atrocities of the war and the killing of millions of Jewish people, hundreds of nations around the world came together to offer protections for humans whose governments were persecuting them. Many countries signed international conventions and declarations and many enacted their own laws to protect asylum seekers.

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives everyone “the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” This means everyone, regardless of where they are located on the planet, has a right to seek refuge in another country. To receive the protections of asylum, a person must prove they are outside of their country of nationality and are unwilling to return because they have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. In the United States, the asylum process takes years and is extremely complex. There are three reasons why those seeking asylum need legal help. First, there are two ways to apply: with the immigration office or with an immigration judge. Depending on where you apply and who your immigration officer or judge is, you can win or lose the case. Second, there is little uniformity in the asylum system and there are relaxed evidence requirements. Although the relaxed evidence requirements make sense (asylum protects people fleeing their country who may not be able to flee with all the paperwork or evidence they need), immigration officers and judges often deny cases on the basis of insufficient evidence. Third, the delays caused by the backlog in asylum cases forces people to adjust to life in the United States for years, often not knowing where they will be able to ultimately resettle. A person who eventually obtains asylum status is then eligible to obtain their Legal Permanent Residence after one year. It is especially important that anyone in the asylum process, seek the help of a licensed immigration attorney to help. An attorney will help you identify the requirements and evidence needed to win your asylum case. More than that, a licensed immgiration attorney can help you determine if there are other ways for you to remain in the United States legally. At Bilbao Law, we understand the protections of asylum and understand that you and your family cannot return to your country. That is why we work with each family to create a personalized plan to ensure you are protected and informed of your rights. Call us at (904) 300-0825 to schedule your consultation today. Vilerka Bilbao is an immigration attorney licensed in Florida with a firm in Jacksonville focused on defending immigrants and human rights. She can be reached at

International and regional instruments relating to refugees and asylum include: 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1967 Optional Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 14) American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (art. 27) American Convention on Human Rights (art. 22) Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, Colloquium on the International Protection of Refugees in Central America, Mexico and Panama (Cartagena Declaration) African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (art. 12) OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of the Refugee Problem in Africa Arab Charter on Human Rights (art. 28) Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (art. 12) European Convention on Human Rights (arts. 2, 3, and 5) Council Regulation EC No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third country national Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (art. 3) African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 22)

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