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Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Law Coursework
Celeste is a 32 year old woman from Kundu (a fictional country) and she lived there until June 2013. Celeste is a member of a tribe known as the Waikiki, which is a minority in Kundu and is confined to a small province in the south of the country. The constitution and laws of Kundu provide for equality between men and women and, in particular, provide a right for women to work and to receive social welfare on equal terms with men. However, the Waikiki tribe has its own traditions and rules, and has especially strong conventions on the roles played by men and women in society. By the tribe’s traditions, any woman over the age of 30 must be married. Any woman who refuses to respect this tradition is ostracised. The tribe’s religious police have on a number of well-documented occasions put to death members of the tribe who have helped an unmarried woman over 30. The government and police of Kundu are aware of this situation, but for political reasons they have chosen not to interfere in what they view as internal tribal matters.
When Celeste turned 30, she was fired from her job as a waitress due to her marital status. When she attempted to claim social welfare from the state, she was informed that a member of the tribe’s religious police would be present at her interview as a witness. Although Celeste secretly received some financial help from her father after losing her job, she began to worry that this fact would eventually come to light and would put her family in danger. She has entered the UK illegally and wishes to apply for refugee status.
You are asked to advise on the question of whether Celeste falls within the definition of “refugee” as defined in Article 1A (2) of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 (The “Geneva Convention”).
1500 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography)