This paper has two principal objectives. First, it attempts to clarify what is meant by "protection" in international refugee law, and argues that this should be limited to respect for the principle of non-refoulement. Second, it argues that attempts to ground international protection to those fleeing armed conflict - in other words to overcome the so-called "war-flaw" - do not find support in the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of victims of armed conflict. Refugees from armed conflict do have international protection needs or entitlements. However, the protection offered by the Geneva Conventions is limited, and the increasing demands to establish some form of protection entitlement should be founded elsewhere.
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