Is the transfer of refugee status to descendants unique to UNRWA?

Is the transfer of refugee status to descendants unique to UNRWA?

No. Under international law and the principle of family unity, the children of refugees and their descendants are also considered refugees until a durable solution is found. As stated by the United Nations,this principle applies to all refugees and both UNRWA and UNHCR have recognized descendants as refugees on this basis.

In line with this, the UN General Assembly annual resolutions on UNRWA operations continue since the 1950s to require the Agency to deliver its services for the protection and assistance of Palestine refugees, including descendants.

Palestine refugees are not distinct from other refugees in protracted refugee situations such as those from Afghanistan or Somalia, where there are multiple generations of refugees, registered by UNHCR as refugees and supported as such. Protracted refugee situations are the result of the failure to find political solutions to their underlying political crises.

It is important to note that registration with UNRWA does not afford refugee status under the 1951 Geneva Convention, but provides services and assistance based on a definition that sets out eligibility for receipt of such services.