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History of asylum and Ofpra
The first international refugee status was created following World War I (1914-18), and Ofpra has been protecting refugees and stateless persons since 1952.
We invite you to follow this journey on our historical timeline!
This chronology focuses on the history of the refugee status in France during the 20th and 21st centuries. It summarises the main texts adopted by France, the international and national institutions created for the protection of refugees, and the nationalities making the most frequent asylum requests, as well as the major events which have played a key role in these applications. It is important to note that there is not always a correlation between the rate of applications and an historic event.
Discover the 1920s
Arrangement of 5 July 1922 concerning the granting of identity certificates to Russian refugees.
Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which attributed the lands of Anatolia to the young Turkish republic in perpetuity, and also authorised the Turks to forbid the return of the Armenian exiles who had fled the country after the genocide of 1915. This effectively made the Armenian exiles stateless, obliging them to find a host country.
Arrangement of 31 May 1924 concerning the granting of identity certificates to Armenian refugees.
In France, creation of the Office for Russian Refugees and the Offices for Armenian Refugees.
These Offices took over from the consulates and national delegations which had been responsible for the protection of their refugee compatriots in France since the implementation of the Nansen passport.
Basile Maklakoff, diplomat (1869 -1957).
Appointed ambassador in France by the interim government when the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, he becomes a Russian refugee.
He led the Central Office for Russian Refugees from 1924 and became protection officer of the Russian section of OFPRA from its creation in 1952 until his death in 1957.
Avetis Aharonian (1866-1948): Armenian writer and politician. President of the Paris Armenian Office between 1926 and 1934.
Arrangement of 12 May 1926 concerning the granting of identity certificates to Russian and Armenian refugees, which completes and amends previous arrangements.
It adds the refugee’s right to return to the country providing the certificate, and the affixing of a paid stamp (Nansen stamp) on the document, with the aim of creating rolling capital for aiding refugees and covering the travel costs of professional placements.