"owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it" - UN 1951 Refugee Convention.
Since this definition only permits males to become refugees, it was expanded later to include females with "his or her" verbiage. Those are now the only two genders permitted among refugees.
One observation is that you must be outside of your country first in order to be a refugee. Thus, an illegal alien who commits a murder is formally a refugee, but someone born in the US who commits a murder in the US and is caught in the US is clearly not one.
Then there is this religion things. All of us claim to believe in absolute freedom of religion, but in practice we deny the rights of Druids and Mayans to perform human sacrifice and we are in denial about the Islamic command to "smite infidels".
Another observation is that all refugees are "phobes" - that is, they are fearful of something, since fear is part of the definition. Thus, I am not sure where they stand now that homophobes, islamophobes and the entire "phobe" movement stands condemned. Something to point out here is that Nazi war criminals who fled to South America fully meet the definition of refugee. On the other hand, someone who is by nature fearless can never be a refugee. Then there are the Christians who are stuck in Mohammedan countries that they were born into. These suffer by far the greatest persecution in the Middle East, but to travel away from their home area into another country means even more abuse and likely death at the hands of their persecutors, thus, they are excluded from being refugees.
I should leave this topic now. Admittedly I hadn't given the definition much thought until recently,