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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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(Redirected from UNHCR)

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (established December 14, 1950) protects and supports refugees at the request of a government or the United Nations and assists in their return or resettlement. It succeeded the earlier International Refugee Organization and the even earlier United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. UNHCR's mandate has gradually been expanded to include protecting and providing humanitarian assistance to what it describes as other persons "of concern," including internally-displaced persons (IDPs) who would fit the legal definition of a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol, the 1969 Organization for African Unity Convention, or some other treaty if they left their country, but who presently remain in their country of origin. UNHCR thus has missions in Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Serbia and Montenegro and Ivory Coast to assist and provide services to IDPs.

As of 2004, the agency has helped an estimated 50 million people restart their lives according to their website. A staff of around 5,000 people in more than 120 countries continues to help some 20 million persons. UNHCR is also represented by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors.

The post of High Commissioner has been held by:


See also

External links

de:United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees es:ACNUR fr:Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les rfugis he:נציבות האו"ם לפליטים nl:Hoge commissaris voor de vluchtelingen ja:国際連合難民高等弁務官事務所

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