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Encyclopedia > Right of return

The term Right of return refers to the principle in international law that members of an ethnic or national group have a right to immigration and naturalization into the country that they, the destination country, or both consider to be that group's homeland, independent of prior personal citizenship in that country. This belief is sometimes reflected in special consideration in a country's immigration laws (called "repatriation") which facilitate or encourage the reunion of a diaspora or dispersed ethnic population. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... An ethnic group is a group of people who identify with one another, or are so identified by others, on the basis of a boundary that distinguishes them from other groups. ... For other uses, see Nation (disambiguation). ... A judge swears in a new citizen. ... A homeland is the concept of the territory to which one belongs; usually, the country in which a particular nationality was born. ... // Repatriation laws have been created in many countries to enable Diasporas to immigrate (return) to their kin-state. This is sometimes known as the exercise of the Right of return. ... For other uses, see Diaspora (disambiguation). ...



The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) article 13 states that "[e]veryone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." (emphasis added). There is disagreement as to what this actually means in practice as well as whether country refers to a state or a specific area of land. In addition, the change from State to country from the first sentence to the second clouds the issue. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated UDHR) is an advisory declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). ...

Much of the controversy surrounding such a right, however, derives from disagreement surrounding what in UDHR article 13 is referred to as "his own". Because many countries are nation-states predicated on the right to national self-determination, such countries often identify a special link between them and persons identified with the nation, or people, whose self-determination that country enables. National laws implementing a "right of return" tend to be predicated on that link. Because they give people of a certain background preferential immigration, however, such laws are controversial, especially where they are perceived to be at the expense of other people who want to immigrate.

Some countries, such as the Philippines, have devised means to "reacquire" or retain former citizens who lost their citizenship upon accession to another country, particularly to recover the contributions and potential investment opportunities of former citizens abroad. Schemes such as these bear some resemblance to right of return plans, because they highlight how a homeland's motivation to build links of citizenship with diasporas may draw from potential investment, not just the nation-state's perceived cultural duty towards one or more particular peoples. Such schemes do not necessarily constitute rights of return, however, particularly where they target former citizenship-holders rather than members of an ethnic group who may never have held citizenship, or whose diaspora location even predates state formation.

Choice of a former-citizen scheme, such as the Philippines' Republic Act 9925 ("Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003"), rather than a right of return such as those listed below, may be more closely associated with the historic circumstances of a people's dispersion and of nation-state formation, respectively, than with principled choices between them. Use of a right of return is therefore more likely in nation-states constituted more recently or whose diasporas are long-standing, and less likely nation-states constituted earlier and/or whose diasporas were constituted more recently. Republic Acts are laws in the Philippines, created by the Congress and signed by the president. ...


Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (1995) provides that "[i]Individuals of Armenian origin shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Armenia through a simplified procedure."[1] This provision is consistent with the Declaration on Independence of Armenia, issued by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Armenia in 1989, which declared at article 4 that "Armenians living abroad are entitled to the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia".


Citizenship act of the Republic of Belarus (2002) states that permanent residence terms may be waived for ethnic Belarusians and descendants of ethnic Belarusians who were born abroad before applying for Belarusian citizenship.


According to the Constitution of Bulgaria, Article 25(2): "A person of Bulgarian origin shall acquire Bulgarian citizenship through a facilitated procedure."[2]

Chapter Two of the Bulgarian Citizenship Act is entitled "Acquisition of Bulgarian Citizenship". The first section of that chapter is entitled "Acquisition of Bulgarian Citizenship by Origin", and provides at article 9 that "[a]ny person ... whose descent from a Bulgarian citizen has been established by way of a court ruling shall be a Bulgarian citizen by origin." Separately, article 15 of the Act provides that "[a]ny person who is not a Bulgarian citizen may acquire Bulgarian citizenship ... if he/she ... is of a Bulgarian origin".

Ethnic Turks who were born to refugees or immigrants from Bulgarian lands (and thus have Bulgarian origin) also have a right of return.


Chinese immigration law gives priority to returning Overseas Chinese — ethnic Chinese who were living abroad. As a result, practically all immigrants to China are ethnic Chinese, including many whose families lived outside of China for generations. Languages various Religions Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ...

The Chinese government encourages the return of Overseas Chinese with various incentives not available to others, such as "tax breaks, high salaries and exemptions from the one-child policy if they had two children while living abroad".[3]

The "rights and interests of returned overseas Chinese" are afforded special protection according to Articles 50 and 89 of the Chinese Constitution.[4]

The term Overseas Chinese may be defined narrowly to refer only to people of Han ethnicity, or more broadly to refer to members of other Chinese ethnic groups. As a result of this ambiguity, people who are not Han Chinese but were born in China and subsequently left, including refugees, are not necessarily eligible for the same preferential treatment. Languages Chinese languages Religions Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ...

Republic of China (Taiwan)

The immigration law of the Republic of China on Taiwan gives priority to returning overseas Chinese who are not citizens of the People's Republic of China (mainland Chinese), Chinese who were living abroad, and encourages their return. Technically, people living in mainland China are also Republic of China citizens as Republic of China (Taiwan) has never formally withdrawn its claim for the mainland. They are not subject to the Taiwanese immigration law, but the "Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area", which is however stricter than the immigration law due to the current relationship between the two Chinas. For the Chinese civilization, see China. ... Languages various Religions Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ...


The Croatian law on citizenship (Zakon o hrvatskom državljanstvu), article 11, defines emigrants (iseljenik) and gives them privileges by excluding them from certain conditions imposed on others.

The Croatian diaspora makes use of this to obtain dual citizenship or to return to Croatia. Croatian Diaspora refers to the Croatian communities that have formed outside the traditional homeland of the Croatian people. ... Multiple citizenship is simultaneous citizenship in two or more countries (whether it is recognized by all countries or not). ...

Czech Republic

In 1995 the Czech Republic amended its Citizenship Law to provide the Interior Ministry with the discretion to waive the usual five-year residency requirement for foreigners that had been resettled in the Czech Republic by 31 December 1994. This amendment was aimed particularly at several hundred ethnic Czechs which had been brought by the Czech government from the Ukrainian region of Volhynia, and was of a limited duration.[5] The cover of a Czech passport The Czech Republic citizenship law is generally based on the principles of Jus sanguinis. ... Volhynia (Ukrainian: , Polish: , Russian: ; also called Volynia) comprises the historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Western Bug -- to the north of Galicia and of Podolia. ...

The amendment was consistent with what the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has identified as "the Czech government's policy principles regarding the resettlement of foreigners of Czech origin living abroad."[6] A private fund, the People In Need (Czech Republic) Czech TV Foundation, worked with government authorities between 1995 and 2001 to effect this resettlement in the specific instance of Russian and Kazakh citizens of Czech origin, and had resettled approximately 750 such persons as of 2000.[7] The strength or prominence of this policy within the Czech government may be uneven, however, and the state appears to have rebuffed dual citizenship overtures from ethnic Czechs living in the comparatively large diaspora of former Czechs in Western countries. People in Need People in Need (Člověk v tísni in Czech) is a Czech nonprofit, non-governmental organization that implements relief and development projects in crisis regions around the globe. ... Logo of Česká televizes ČT1 channel. ...

Diego Garcia

The Chagossians, an ethnic group residing on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, were expelled to Mauritius in the 1960s, in connection with the erection of an American strategic military installation on the island. Ever since, the Chagossians have been conducting a persistent political and legal struggle to return to Diego Garcia. As of 2007, their right to return was recognised by several British courts but the UK government failed to actually implement it (see Chagossians, Depopulation of Diego Garcia, Order-in-Council#United Kingdom). An unnamed Chagossian and his final coconut harvest, photographed at the time of the first United States encampment (1971) Chagossians (also known as Ilois and Chagos Islanders) are a group of Creole-speaking people. ... Diego Garcia ( ) is an atoll located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) south of Indias southern coast. ... An unnamed Chagossian and his final coconut harvest, photographed at the time of the first United States encampment (1971) Chagossians (also known as Ilois and Chagos Islanders) are a group of Creole-speaking people. ... The Diego Garcia depopulation controversy pertains to the evacuation of the indigenous inhabitants of the island of Diego Garcia during the 1960s and 70s. ... An Order-in-Council is an executive order issued in Commonwealth Realms operating under the Westminster system. ...


The Finnish Aliens Act provides for persons who are of Finnish origin to receive permanent residence. This generally means Karelians and Ingrian Finns from the former Soviet Union, but United States, Canadian or Swedish nationals with Finnish ancestry can also apply. The Karelians is a name used to denote two related, yet different ethnic groups of Finnic-language speakers. ... The Ingrian Finns (inkeriläinen or inkerinsuomalainen) are an ethnic group who speak a dialect of Finnish language and have traditionally inhabited the area called Ingria (or Ingermanland, in Finnish: Inkeri) situated between what is now Saint Petersburg and the northeastern border of Estonia. ...

The Finnish Directorate of Immigration website states on its Returnees page that;

  • Certain aliens, who have Finnish ancestry or otherwise a close connection with Finland, may be granted a residence permit on this basis. No other reason, such as work or study, is required in order to receive the permit.
  • Receiving a residence permit depends on the directness and closeness of Finnish ancestry. If the ancestry dates back several generations, a residence permit cannot be granted on this basis.
  • People who may be granted a residence permit based on Finnish ancestry or close connections with Finland can be divided into the following three groups:

Citizenship in Finland can be obtained on the basis of birth, marriage of parents, adoption, or the place of birth. ... The ethnic Finns are the dominant ethnic group in Finland, and the largest ethnic minority in Sweden, the Sweden-Finns. ... Ingria may be seen represented in the easternmost part of the Carta Marina (1539) Ingria (Finnish: , Russian: , Swedish: , Estonian: ) is a historical region, now situated mostly in Russia, comprising the area along the basin of the river Neva, between the Gulf of Finland, the Narva River, Lake Peipsi in the...


What might be historically the first law recognising a Right of Return was enacted in France in 1790, as part of the French Revolution putting a decisive end to the centuries-long persecution and discrimination of Huguenots (French Protestants). Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... From the 16th to the 18th century the name Huguenot was applied to a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, historically known as the French Calvinists. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ...

Concurrently with making all Protestants resident in France into full-fledged citizens, the law enacted on December 15, 1790 stated that : 'All persons born in a foreign country and descending in any degree of a French man or woman expatriated for religious reason are declared French nationals (naturels français) and will benefit to rights attached to that quality if they come back to France, establish their domicile there and take the civic oath.' is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...

As the expulsion of the Huguenots had taken place more than a century earlier and there were extensive Huguenot diasporas in many countries, where they often intermarried with the population of the host country, the law potentially conferred French citizenship on numerous Britons, Germans, South Africans and others - though only a fraction actually took advantage of it.

Article 4 of the June 26, 1889 Nationality Law stated that: 'Descendants of families proscribed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes will continue to benefit from the benefit of the December 15, 1790 Law, but on the condition that a nominal decree [i.e., a decree stating the name of the specific applicant for citizenship] should be issued for every petitioner. That decree will only produce its effects for the future'. is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1889 (MDCCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Edict of Fontainebleau (October 1685) was an edict issued by Louis XIV of France. ...

Foreign descendants of Huguenots lost the automatic right to French citizenship in 1945 (by force of the ordonnance du 19 octobre 1945, revoking the 1889 Nationality Law). Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ...

See Huguenot#End of persecution and restoration of French Citizenship. From the 16th to the 18th century the name Huguenot was applied to a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, historically known as the French Calvinists. ...


German law allows persons of German descent living in Eastern Europe (so-called Aussiedler, see Volga Germans) to return to Germany and claim German citizenship. As with many legal implementations of the Right of Return, the "return" to Germany of individuals who may never have lived in Germany based on their ethnic origin has been controversial. The law is codified in Article 116 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, which provides access to German citizenship for anyone "who has been admitted to the territory of the German Reich within the boundaries of December 31, 1937 as a refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such person".[11] Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... Volga German pioneer family commemorative statue in Victoria, Kansas, USA. The Volga Germans (German: or Russlanddeutsche) were ethnic Germans living near the Volga River in the region of southern European Russia around Saratov and to the south, maintaining German culture, language, traditions and religions: Evangelical Lutheranism, Reformed and Roman Catholicism... Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution[1] of Germany. ...

The historic context for Article 116 was the eviction, following World War II, of an estimated 9 million ethnic Germans from other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Another 9 million Germans from former eastern German provinces, over which Stalin and eastern neighbour states extended military hegemony in 1945, were expelled as well. These expellees and refugees (known as Heimatvertriebene) were given refugee status and documents and resettled by Germany; discussion of possible compensation is ongoing. Some German expellees desire to resettle in their territories of birth, youth and early life, but legal procedures often make remigration difficult, even after Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Historical Eastern Germany or Former German Eastern Territories are terms which can be used to describe collectively those provinces or regions east of the Oder–Neisse line which were parts of Germany after its unification in 1871 and were internationally recognised as such at the time. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... Germans expelled from the Sudetenland // The expulsion of Germans after World War II refers to the forced migration of people considered Germans (Reichsdeutsche and some Volksdeutsche) from various European states and territories during 1945 and in the first three years after World War II 1946-48. ... This article is in need of attention. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


"Foreign persons of Greek origin", who neither live in Greece nor hold Greek citizenship nor were necessarily born there, may become Greek citizens by enlisting in Greece's military forces, under article 4 of the Code of Greek Citizenship, as amended by the Acquisition of Greek Nationality by Aliens of Greek Origin Law (Law 2130/1993). Anyone wishing to do so must present a number of documents, including "[a]vailable written records ... proving the Greek origin of the interested person and his ancestors."


A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a person living outside of India and without Indian citizenship, but of Indian origin up to four generations removed. It is available to persons of Indian origin anywhere in the world as long as they have never been citizens of Pakistan or of Bangladesh. This unusual type of citizenship by descent is an intermediate form of citizenship in that it does not grant the full portfolio of rights enjoyed by Indian citizens. NRI redirects here. ... This article discusses the legal notion of Indian citizenship. ...

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003 and Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance 2005 make provision for an even newer form of Indian nationality, the holders of which are to be known as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). Overseas citizenship is not substantially different than PIO rights.

Holding either PIO or OCI status does, however, facilitate access to full Indian citizenship. An OCI who has been registered for five years, for instance, need be resident for only one year in India before becoming a full citizen.


Irish nationality law provides for Irish citizenship to be acquired on the basis of at least one Irish grandparent. If a person outside of Ireland who is entitled to claim Irish citizenship elects not to, that person may nonetheless pass that right on to her or his own children, even if the basis for the entitlement being passed on is a single Irish grandparent. To do so, that person must register her or his birth in Ireland's Foreign Births Register. Irish nationality law is the law of the Republic of Ireland governing citizenship. ...

Separately from this right, the Irish minister charged with immigration may dispense with conditions of naturalisation to grant citizenship to an applicant who "is of Irish descent or Irish associations", under article 15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1986.


Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ...


Main article: Law of Return

Under the Israeli Law of Return most people of Jewish heritage can immigrate to Israel and receive Israeli citizenship with all the privileges and obligations thereto. The Law of Return (Hebrew: חוק השבות, hok ha-shvut) is Israeli legislation that allows Jews and those with Jewish parents or grandparents, and spouses of the aforementioned, to settle in Israel and gain citizenship. ... The Law of Return (Hebrew: חוק השבות, hok ha-shvut) is Israeli legislation that allows Jews and those with Jewish parents or grandparents, and spouses of the aforementioned, to settle in Israel and gain citizenship. ... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ...

In the last quarter of the 19th century, the Zionist Movement sought to encourage diaspora Jews to resettle British-Controlled Palestine. Many Jews, including secular Zionists and religious Jews, believe that because the land where Israel now stands is the biblical Land of Israel, there should thereofore be a state on that land. Other Zionists linking people of Jewish heritage to Palestine argue for a right of return based on more conventional arguments similar to those which underpin rights of return in most other countries. This secular or political argument holds that such a linkage is founded in international law's Westphalian organization of peoples into nation-states, and in the "right" of the Jews to statehood under that basic principle. Theodor Herzl is probably the best-known exponent of this argument, and it is not without critics, either. The secular argument that the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, proposed a Jewish right of return, the first modern diplomatic document to do so. It states inter alia: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in the Palestine Mandate of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object." However, the Balfour Declaration also states that "nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." A bilingual poster in Romanian and Hungarian promoting a film about Jewish settlement in Palestine, 1930s. ... For other uses, see Diaspora (disambiguation). ... Ratification of the Treaty of Münster. ... Theodor Herzl, in his middle age. ... Arthur James Balfour. ... Arthur James Balfour. ...

The British Mandate of Palestine authorizing document conferred on Britain by the League of Nations in 1922, addressed the idea of a right of Jews to return to Israel. Article 6 of that document reads in part: "The Administration of Palestine... shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency... close settlement by Jews on the land...". However, the League of Nations mandate also echoes the language of the British declaration, demanding that the mandatory power "safeguard the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion,". Flag The approximate borders of the British Mandate circa 1922. ... The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–1920. ...

The Jewish "right of return" was embodied in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel of May 14, 1948: "The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the ingathering of the exiles...".

Since the founding of the State of Israel, millions of Jews from all over the world have availed themselves of the Law of Return. These include surviving victims of the Holocaust (many of whom were interned in displaced persons camps in Europe after World War II and later in Cyprus when the British Mandatory government refused them entry), approximately 650,000 North African and Mizrahi Jews of the Middle East who fled discrimination and persecution (and at times were expelled) by Arab governments (particularly after the founding of the State of Israel), and almost a million Russian Jews who emigrated from the former Soviet Union after the emigration policy changes of 1980s prompted by the Jackson-Vanik amendment and the impending collapse of the USSR. “Shoah” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with forced migration. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Mizrachi is also an organisation of the Religious Zionist Movement Mizrahi Jews or Oriental Jews (מזרחי eastern, Standard Hebrew Mizraḥi, Tiberian Hebrew Mizrāḥî; plural מזרחים easterners, Standard Hebrew Mizraḥim, Tiberian Hebrew Mizrāḥîm... According to the 1974 Trade act, the Jackson-Vanik amendment, named for its major co-sponsors, Sen. ... The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ...

As codified in Israeli law as the Law of Return 1950 passed on July 5th, 1950, "Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh". The law was amended in 1970 to grant the right to immigrate to Israel to non-Jews who are either children or grandchildren of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew or the spouse of a child or grandchild of a Jew. The amendment was intended to accept in Israel families, mainly from Eastern Europe, where mixed marriages were abundant, and where individuals and family members not considered Jews under the traditional definition might still be subject to anti-Semitism. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ...

The Israeli Law of Return does not categorically exclude non-Jews from immigrating to Israel. Any person who wishes to settle in Israel may do so. That person must meet the requirements set forth in the Law of Entry to Israel (1952) and the Law of Citizenship (1952), regarding naturalization. These requirements are similar to those stated in the laws of most countries such as:

  1. they must have resided in Israel for three years out of five years preceding the day of submission of the application;
  2. they are residing legally in Israel and have settled permanently or intend to settle permanently in Israel;
  3. they have renounced their prior nationality, or have proved that they will cease to be foreign nationals upon becoming Israeli citizens.

Israel's self-identification as a Jewish state, and its pro-Jewish immigration policy is seen as a sign that the country is a home for the Jewish people.


The term "Right of Return", when applied to Palestinians with respect to the State of Israel differs significantly with the definition of the term atop of this article. It reflects a belief that Palestinian refugees and their descendants have a right to return to the homes their families had possessed and left prior to or during the due to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.[1] Many Palestinian refugees in Arab nations and elsewhere claim a Right of Return to lands which they or their families had held in Israel prior to the Palestinian Exodus. ... The Palestinian flag, adopted in 1948, is a widely recognized modern symbol of the Palestinian people. ... In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a Palestinian refugee is a refugee from Palestine created by the Palestinian Exodus, which Palestinians call the Nakba (نكبة, meaning disaster). History Most of the refugees had already fled by the time the neighboring Arab states intervened on the side of Palestinians... Combatants  Israel Haganah Irgun Lehi Palmach Foreign Volunteers Egypt, Syria, Transjordan,  Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Holy War Army, Arab Liberation Army Commanders Yaakov Dori, Yigael Yadin John Bagot Glubb, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, Hasan Salama, Fawzi Al-Qawuqji, Ahmed Ali al-Mwawi Strength  Israel: 29,677 initially rising...

The non-binding UN General Assembly Resolution 194 was passed on December 11, 1948 which recommended that the Palestinian and Jewish refugees should be permitted to return if they are willing to live in peace with their neighbors. It does not, however, outline any "right" for either party. The text of its Article 11: "[r]esolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property..."[12] The Arab states originally rejected this resolution, although today they often leverage it in arguing for a Palestinian right of return. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 [1] was passed on December 11 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. ... is the 345th day of the year (346th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Significantly, the UN maintains a separate and distinct definition of the word "refugees" for Palestinians who left Palestine (including present-day Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza) in 1948 and/or 1967. Palestinian refugees from Palestine are classed as both the individuals who left their homes and any descendants of those individuals. This stands in contrast to the UN definition of refugee as it applies to displaced persons connected with territories other than those of the State of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza: in the latter case it refers only to those individuals who were forced to flee, not to their lineal descendants.[13]

The question of whether or not Palestinians should return to lands within the State of Israel is, next to the question of the status of Jerusalem, one of the major impediments to a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. The Arab states have for decades publicly insisted on this as one of the main conditions for peace. The Oslo accords were only made possible because both sides agreed to leave this question open for future negotiations. At the 2000 negotiation at Camp David between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, for instance, the right of return was one issue on which the talks broke down. Barak was willing to accept a Palestinian state taking in the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank, plus co-sovereignty over Jerusalem, but would not accept a Palestinian right of return to Israel. Arafat for his part would not accept any settlement that did not contain at least some provisions on this issue. For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat during the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993. ... The West Wing, see NSF Thurmont (The West Wing). ... Not to be confused with Yasir Arafat (cricketer). ... Ehud Barak (Hebrew: אֵהוּד בָּרָק) (born Ehud Brog on February 12, 1942) is an Israeli politician, former Prime Minster, and current Minister of Defense and leader of Israels Labor Party. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ...

Impact on Israel

If all the Palestinian refugees and their descendants (estimates range between 5 and 8 million people) were to return to their original home within Israel this would lead to a demographic shift which would end Israel's status as a Jewish state, as Israel's current population is composed of about 5.8 million Jews and 1.3 million Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs. This is the main cause for Israel's continued resistance to the Palestinian "right of return". The book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896) by Theodor Herzl. ...

Even if a smaller number of refugees were to return, as little as one million, this would still alter Israel's character as a Jewish state. A very large majority of Jewish Israelis find this prospect unacceptable. They see the demand for a Palestinian Right of Return as merely another, more subtle way of arguing for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, and demand that the Palestinians recognize that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish-majority state. The book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896) by Theodor Herzl. ...

Most Israelis virtually equate the Right of Return with Israel's destruction. A minority, however, believe that if Israel were to acknowledge a right of return, the ensuing changes might be positive for Israelis and Palestinians alike [14]. Supporters of the right to return claim that if a Jew born in America has the right to immigrate to Palestine/Israel, a Palestinian born in a refugee camp should have the right to return to his or her homeland. They also point to a June 2003 survey of Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan and Lebanon, which found that only 10% of those surveyed stated that they would become residents of Israel if given a choice[2].


A special visa category exists exclusively for foreign descendants of Japanese emigrates (Nikkeijin) up to the third generation, which provides for long-term residence, unrestricted by occupation, but most Nikkeijin cannot acquire Japanese citizenship.


From the Constitution of Lithuania, Article 32(4): "Every Lithuanian person may settle in Lithuania."[15]


The Kola Norwegians were Norwegians who settled along the coastline of the Russian Kola Peninsula from approximately 1850 to the closure of the border in the 1920's. It is estimated that around 1000 Norwegians lived on the Kola peninsula in 1917. The Kola Norwegians were deported to or put in camps in other parts of Russia during the course of World War II. The Kola Norwegians were Norwegian settlers along the coastline of the Russian Kola Peninsula. ... Location of Kola south of the Barents Sea. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

It was only after 1990 that many of the Kola Norwegians again dared to emphasize their background. Only a few had been able to maintain a rusty knowledge of Norwegian. Some of them have migrated back to Norway. There are special provisions in the Norwegian rules of immigration and citizenship which eases this process for many Kola Norwegians. These provisions are in general stricter then in some other countries giving "Right of return". In order to obtain a permit to immigrate and work in Norway a Kola Norwegian will have to prove an adequate connection to Norway such as having at least two grandparents from Norway.[3] Citizenship will then be awarded according to regular rules.[4] As of 2004 approximately 200 Kola Norwegians had moved back to Norway.[5]


From the Constitution of Poland, Article 52(5): "Anyone whose Polish origin has been confirmed in accordance with statute may settle permanently in Poland."[16]


Article 23 of the 2004 citizenship law provides that the descendants of emigrants from Serbia, or ethnic Serbs residing abroad, may take up citizenship upon written declaration. For more details, see Serbian citizenship. Not to be confused with Republika Srpska. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and make it more accessible to a general audience, this article may require cleanup. ...


Upon the rediscovery of Sephardi Jews during the campaigns of General Juan Prim in Northern Africa, the Spanish governments have taken friendly measures towards the descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. The motivation for these measures was a desire to repair a perceived injustice, the need of a collaborative base of natives in Spanish Morocco, and an attempt to attract the sympathy of wealthy European Sephardis like the Pereiras of France. The Edict of Expulsion was revoked. Spanish diplomacy exercised protection over Sephardis of the Ottoman Empire and the independent Balkanic states succeeding it. The government of Miguel Primo de Rivera decreed in 1924 that every Sephardi could claim Spanish citizenship. This right was used by some refugees during the Second World War, including the Hungarian Jews saved by Ángel Sanz Briz and Giorgio Perlasca. This decree was again put to use to receive some Jews from Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. Sephardim (ספרדי, Standard Hebrew SÉ™fardi, Tiberian Hebrew ardî; plural Sephardim: ספרדים, Standard Hebrew Sfaradim, Tiberian Hebrew ) are a subgroup of Jews, generally defined in contrast to Ashkenazim and/or . ... Combatants Morocco Spain Commanders Mohammed IV of Morocco Juan Prim Leopoldo ODonnell Strength 40,000 140,000 Casualties 6,000 dead or wounded 4,000 dead or wounded The Spanish-Moroccan War of 1859, known as the African War in Spain (Spanish: La Guerra de África), was a war... Joan Prim, Spanish general and statesman Reus, Prims Monument Don Joan Prim, Count of Reus, Viscount del Bruch, Marquis of los Castillejos (ca: Joan Prim i Prats, comte de Reus i vescomte del Bruc, marquès dels Castillejos; es: Juan Prim y Prats, conde de Reus y vizconde del... This article is about one of the historical Inquisitions. ... Spanish Morocco, was the area of Morocco ruled by Spain from up to 1956, when France and Spain recognised Moroccan independence. ... Medieval Pereira Coat of Arms Pereira is a common surname in the Portuguese and Galician languages, namely in Portugal, Brazil, and Galicia. ... Ottoman redirects here. ... Spanish dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, Marqués de Estella (Jerez, January 8, 1870 - Paris, March 16, 1930) was a Spanish military official who ruled Spain as a dictator from 1923 to 1930, ending the turno system of alternating parties. ... History of the Jews in Hungary concerns the Jews of Hungary and of Hungarian origins. ... Ángel Sanz Briz (Zaragoza, September 28, 1910 - June 11, 1980) was a Spanish diplomat. ... (January 31, 1910–August 15, 1992) was an Italian who posed as the Spanish consul to Hungary in the winter of 1944, and saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis. ... Combatants Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Predominantly Bosniak) Army of Republika Srpska, Yugoslav Peoples Army, various paramilitary units from Serbia and Montenegro (Serbian) Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Army (Croatian) Commanders Alija Izetbegović (President of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Sefer Halilović (Army chief of staff 1992-1993) Rasim...

Emigrants of Spanish origins (mainly exiles from the Spanish Civil War) and their children are eligible of recovering Spanish nationality without the requirement of residing in Spain, they also have the right of maintaining any current nationality they posses (for their children to be able to recover, the parent must have had Spanish citizenship at the moment of birth, otherwise they follow the next rule). The Exiles are a group of reality-hopping mutants, created by writer Judd Winick and artist Mike McKone. ... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ...

The children of those Spaniards by birth (original Spaniards; españoles de origen) that were born within Spanish territory but had lost their Spanish citizenship by their time of birth (by acquiring a foreign one, for example) can apply for Spanish citizenship without age or time restrictions or residency requirements. They have to renounce any foreign nationality they posses except if these nationality is of an Ibero-American country, Portugal, Andorra, Philippines or Equatorial Guinea. Ibero-America is a term used to refer collectively to the countries in the Americas which were formerly colonies of Spain or Portugal. ...

Regardless of their place of birth, the adult children and grandchildren of original Spaniards (original Spaniards are those who, at the moment of their birth, were born to people who possessed Spanish citizenship) can also access Spanish nationality on softer terms than other foreigners: they require just 1 year of legal residence, and they are exempted from work restrictions. This law in practice also benefits the great-granchildren of emigrant Spaniards as long as their grandparents (born outside of Spain) are/were original Spaniards. Currently there is a reform process underway that when passed will allow the children of Spaniards by birth to obtain immediate Spanish citizenship regardless of where their parents were born, and without age or time restrictions or residency requirements; grandchildren and great-grandchildren are not covered in the current draft.

Ibero-Americans and citizens of other countries historically related to Spain (Portugal, Andorra, Philippines, and Equatorial Guinea) also have a Right of Return: They can apply to Spanish nationality after 2 years of Legal residence (the usual time is 10 years for most foreigners) and they have the right to keep their birth nationality[6]. Ibero-America is a term used to refer collectively to the countries in the Americas which were formerly colonies of Spain or Portugal. ...


A non-exhaustive list of other countries believed to have similar laws is South Korea, Hungary, Moldova and Slovakia. Similarly, the Liberian constitution (currently defunct and being rewritten) allows only people "of Negro descent" (regardless of ethno-national affiliation) to become citizens. As with other laws enacting rights of return, many of the laws in these countries appear to reflect a desire by governments to guarantee a safe haven to diaspora populations, particularly those assumed to be living under precarious conditions.


  1. ^ ”Rights and Wrongs.” Efraim Karsh. Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council. June 2001. http://www.aijac.org.au/review/2001/266/essay266.html.
  2. ^ For Many Palestinians, Right of Return Is Primarily Theoretical, Orly Halpern, The Forward, Apr 13, 2007
  3. ^ Provisions given in addition to the Norwegian law of Citizenship, point 3.8.4. (Norwegian) Retrieved 11 December 2006
  4. ^ Norwegian terms of citizenship Retrieved 11 December 2006
  5. ^ Article in Aftenposten givina some statistics on the Kola Norwegians (Norwegian) Retrieved 11 December 2006
  6. ^ Spanish Civil Code of 2002, article 22.

External links

  • Law of Return, 1950—Government of the State of Israel
  • The Right of Return in International Law by Eyal Benvenisti
  • The problem is how to become Israeli - Amon Rubenstein, Ha'aretz
  • Do Palestinian Refugees Have a Right to Return to Israel? by Ruth Lapidoth
  • International Law and the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Julius Stone
  • The Feasibility of the Right of Return by Salman Abu-Sittah
  • Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return: An International Law Analysis by Gail J. Boling
  • Website of Al-Awda: The Palestine Right To Return Coalition

Haaretz (הארץ, The Land) is an Israeli newspaper, founded in 1919. ...

Further reading

  • Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2004. War Echo: Ousted by Poland in 1945, Germans Want Homes Back

The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Right of return (393 words)
A right of return is a right, held by members of an ethnic or national group, to assurance of immigration and naturalization into the nation of their homeland.
The Jewish and Palestinian Arab rights of return are hotly disputed topic in Middle East politics, and play an important role in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and the Arab states.
The right of return can be seen, next to the question of the status of Jerusalem as one of the major impediments of the Peace process.
  More results at FactBites »



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