Particular Social Group

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Membership of a Particular Social Group; one of five possible grounds on the basis of which persecution may be established under the 1951 Convention. A particular social group is a group of persons who either share a common characteristic (other than the risk of persecution) or who are perceived as a group by society. The characteristic will often be one which is innate, unchangeable, or which is otherwise fundamental to identity, conscience, or the exercise of fundamental rights.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR Master Glossary of Terms, June 2006, Rev.1, available at:

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