The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a UN agency that was established in 1950 to protect and provide assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other forcibly displaced individuals around the world.
The UNHCR has 130 member states, which support its work through financial contributions, policy guidance, and cooperation. The agency is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has offices in more than 130 countries.
The primary role of UNHCR is to provide protection and assistance to refugees and other forcibly displaced individuals. This includes:
Protecting refugees: UNHCR works to ensure that refugees are protected from persecution, discrimination, and violence, and that their rights are respected and upheld. This includes advocating for their legal and physical protection, and assisting with their resettlement, integration, or voluntary return to their home countries.
Providing assistance: UNHCR provides life-saving assistance, such as shelter, food, and healthcare, to refugees and other forcibly displaced individuals. It also works to ensure that they have access to education, employment, and other essential services.
Advocating for solutions: UNHCR works to find durable solutions for refugees and other forcibly displaced individuals, including repatriation, resettlement, and integration. It also advocates for policies and measures to prevent and resolve conflicts that cause displacement.
The overall activity of UNHCR includes providing assistance and protection to millions of refugees and other forcibly displaced individuals around the world, as well as advocating for their rights and working towards durable solutions to their displacement. UNHCR also works with governments, civil society organizations, and other UN agencies to coordinate humanitarian responses and promote international cooperation on refugee issues.