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About us

About us
© UNHCR

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve related 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. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

In more than six decades, UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 7,685 people in more than 125 countries continues to help some 33.9 million people around the world.

History of UNHCR

Two Nobel Peace Prizes and helping tens of millions around the world – learn how UNHCR has become one of the world’s principal humanitarian agencies.

Governance and Organization

The well-structured mechanisms and leadership allows UNHCR to best meet the needs of displaced people around the world.

The High Commissioner

Meet António Guterres, the 10th High Commissioner of UNHCR, heading the organization since 2005 and re-elected in 2010 to a second five-year term.

UNHCR in Central Europe

Promoting and ensuring access to safe territory, fair asylum procedures, decent reception conditions and facilitating integration and resettlement.

UNHCR Events

Celebrate the annual World Refugee Day and commemorate the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1961 Statelessness Convention with us.

UNHCR People

A wide network of friends and supporters, ranging from high-profile Goodwill Ambassadors to enthusiastic civilians and refugees themselves. See who helps us help the millions of displaced.

Figures at a glance

Discover how many people we help, how many countries we operate in, how many staff we are, on which budget we serve people around the world – along with other important facts and figures.


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