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Two principal conventions govern international refugee law: the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to the Convention.The Convention defines refugee status and the legal obligations of signatory states and establishes the basic standards of treatment. The Protocol eliminates the geographic and time limitations of the 1951 Convention. Australia ratified the Convention on 22 January 1954 and the Protocol on 13 December 1973.
In addition, two regional instruments, the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, extend refugee rights to a broader class of people.
Other resources for finding international and regional instruments include: