Refugee Lexicon

Updated: 27 April 2021

Since the drafting of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, important policy and guidance documents have been developed primarily in the English language. Similarly, throughout UNHCR’s engagement in Malaysia, the Office has utilized both English and Malay language mediums in order to effectively communicate with government, public, and refugee communities.

Recognising a gap of standardised refugee-related terms within the Malay language, UNHCR has developed the Refugee Lexicon: Translation of Related Terms into the Malay Language. UNHCR identified common terms in English and engaged with in-house technical experts who are native Malay language speakers to provide practical translations that can be used in the ordinary vernacular. Approximately 3,000 terms that are commonly used in discussions on the refugee context were compiled and translated.

UNHCR reviewed these translations and referred to translations used by the Malay language authority, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. The Refugee Lexicon is a living document which will be periodically reviewed and updated.



Category of Word
Ketakutan terhadap orang asing
Human Rights
Human Rights
Orang Xhosa
Population groups