Who is a refugee?
A refugee is a person who is outside their country of origin, and who has well-founded fears of returning to it for risk of suffering persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, belonging to a certain social group or their political views.
Not being able to count on the protection of their country, the refugee requests the protection of the country in which s/he is, in this case, Panama. (The definition of refugees in Panamanian law is similar to that of the Convention on the status of Refugees of 1951 and is found in Article 5 of Executive Decree No. 5 of 2018).
Panama has also included persecution on the grounds of gender, therefore gender violence, domestic and family violence, female genital mutilation, punishments for not obeying moral values and customs, as well as discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) personas are forms of persecution that could justify the recognition of the refugee status in Panama.
In Panama, the refugee status is recognized by the +National Commission for the Protection of Refugees (CONARE), which is composed of various institutions of the Panamanian state.
Who is an asylum seeker?
An asylum seeker is someone who has submitted a refugee status recognition claim to the National Office for the Attention of Refugees (ONPAR) and whose claim is pending for resolution.