There is indeed an ideological divide on the legal definition of refugee between the developed and less developed countries. The fact that Africa and Latin America have adopted a broader definition, which is yet to be endorsed by the "West" is not an accident.
The struggle against colonialism and the wars of liberation, especially in Africa, exposed the limitations of this approach, and in 1969 the Organization of African Unity adopted an additional, broader definition more consistent with social and political reality on the continent. This stepped beyond the individual’s well-founded fear of persecution to encompass refuge from external aggression, occupation, foreign domination, or events seriously disturbing public order. A similar approach, again reflecting regional circumstances, was adopted for Central America in the 1984 Cartagena Declaration, notably taking account also of ‘generalized violence’ and ‘massive violation of human rights’.
These specific regional approaches helped to keep the principles and practice of refugee protection more or less in touch with the actual dimensions of population displacements during the 1970s and 1980s, even if States remained reluctant to recognize an individual right to be granted asylum.
Several Western commentators describe the 1951 definition of refugee as being too narrow, owing to its ideological basis in the Cold War. On the other hand it turned out to be a convenient way to reject post-Soviet-era asylum seekers.
although the Convention stipulates that refuge is granted
to all those who have left their country of origin, ‘owing to the wellfounded fear of persecution’, the Convention does not actually clarify
what ‘persecution’ is; there is no definition within the Convention or
within the UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for
Determining Refugee Status (1979). The term ‘persecution’ is fairly
problematic. Daniel Wilsher puts it pertinently when he writes,
it may seem astonishing that, even fifty years and
thousands of judicial decisions after its signature, the
Refugee Convention continues to produce novel
interpretations of central concepts such as the meaning of
persecution and protection (2003, p.106)
At the time of drafting, little thought was actually paid to the various
forms that ‘persecution’ could take, particularly gender-based
persecution or persecution by non-state actors (UNHCR 2001,
p.12). As a result, there have been wildly differing and increasingly
restrictive interpretations of ‘persecution’ (UNHCR 2001, p.14).
Moreover, with the collapse of communism, ‘globalisation
superseded the old polarisation, with mass migration and numerous
regional conflicts replacing superpower stand-offs’ (Friedman and
Klein 2008, p.57). The agents of ‘persecution’ are no longer
necessarily state actors, but non-state actors, or even sub-state actors,
rebels and militia. By following the 1951 Convention route to
refuge, vast numbers of people are excluded from attaining refuge as
they fail to comply with the UNHCR definition of what constitutes
a refugee. Those excluded due to lack of the ‘persecution’ label, are
people caught in the crossfire of civil war or generalized
violence, starving people, people without economic
resources to subsist, people forced to flee their countries
due to environmental catastrophe, people recruited to
rebel militia, and battered women unable to attain police
protection (Price 2006, p.417)
In strict 1946 UN terms, the refugees from OUA/Cartagena are (externally) "displaced persons". The term "externally displaced persons" is sometimes in UN resolutions from the 1990s. A US government page from 2009 still uses this terminology:
Displaced Person: an individual who has been forced or obliged to flee or leave his or her home temporarily and who expect to return eventually.
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) have relocated within their country, while externally displaced persons have crossed an international border. Depending upon their ability to return, and whether they are subject to persecution in their home country, externally displaced persons may be entitled to recognition as refugees under UNHCR's -mandate.
Sometimes "externally displaced victims" is/was used instead but not in truly official documents, as far as I can tell. In contrast "internally displaced persons" (IDP) is common as it is clearly distinct from refugees (under either legal definition); UNHCR also uses the IDP term currently (and frequently).
However, as Wikipedia notes:
As of 2011, the UNHCR itself, in addition to the 1951 definition, recognizes persons as refugees:
"who are outside their country of nationality or habitual residence and unable to return there owing to serious and indiscriminate threats to life, physical integrity or freedom resulting from generalized violence or events seriously disturbing public order."
Verified from the source cited:
I'm not sure how this (overt) extension of mandate came about.
But it's clearly pretty new, because a 2006 UNHCR research paper didn't mention it, but did detail the terminological morass at the time:
At first glance, it appears that international law has little to say about the relatively
amorphous concept of complementary protection. Although there is longstanding
State practice of protecting extra-Convention refugees, encompassed by such terms as
‘de facto refugees’, ‘B status refugees’, ‘OAU and Cartagena-type refugees’ and
‘humanitarian refugees’, the term ‘complementary protection’ appears in no
international treaty and has no singular connotation in State practice.
Conclusion adopted in October 2005 specifically refers to ‘complementary
protection’, but does not define it.
The first binding, supranational instrument on complementary protection was
concluded in April 2004 by the European Union, but it adopts the term ‘subsidiary
(EXCOM here is the UNHCR's governing Executive Committee.)