The Geneva Convention provides five reasons for persecution on the basis of which refugee status is recognised. These are race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion. These are not mutually exclusive and more than one ground may be relevant in a given case.
It is also important to note that the reason for persecution may not be an actual characteristic of the applicant but may be imputed to them.
Moreover, all grounds mentioned could be triggered in relation to an action, as well as an omission, of the applicant.