Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

For more information about the Structure and Objectives of the Glossary, click here...)

According to the 1951 Convention and Protocol relating to the status of refugees provided by the United Nations, “[a] refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence” and who “has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group” (see also UNHCR 2021b). Such forcefully displaced migrants “are defined and protected in international law and must not be expelled or returned to situations where their life and freedom are at risk” (UNHCR 2021, n. p.). Refugees do not leave their home country of their own accord but because they have no other choice (Goubin et al. 2022, 7).

⇢ see also Asylum; Asylum seeker, Expatriate, Forced migration or displacement, Labor migration, Migrant

References and further reading:

Goubin, Silke, Anna Ruelens, and Ides Nicaise. 2022. “Trends in Attitudes towards Migration in Europe: A Comparative Analysis.” KU Leuven, HIVA – Research Institute for Work and Society. [Working paper of the OPPORTUNITIES project 101004945 – H2020].

United Nations. 1951. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Date of access: September 10, 2023.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 2021a. “Refugees.” UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 2021b. “What Is a Refugee?” UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency. URL: Date of access: August 24, 2021.

Category: D, E

Work Package: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

[SG / SM]