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Who we help

Who we help
© UNHCR/G. Kotschy

An ever-expanding group

UNHCR's 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 country, or return home in safety and dignity. 

Sometimes, refugees can neither return nor stay in the place of first refuge. For these vulnerable men, women and children the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR works for a third solution to their plight: resettlement to a third country where they can start afresh.

UNHCR also has a mandate to prevent and reduce statelessness and protect stateless people. In support of its core activities on behalf of refugees, UNHCR's Executive Committee and the UN General Assembly have authorized the UN Refugee Agency to also assist former refugees who have returned home and internally displaced people.

In all of its activities, UNHCR pays particular attention to the needs of vulnerable groups and promotes the equal rights of women and girls.


Needing essential help and advice while applying and waiting for refugee status.


Our core group to assist, in starting a new life and building a home in a new country. 


Some who can return home in safety and dignity after danger has ceased. 

Internally displaced people

Who seek safety in other parts of their country, without crossing borders. 

Stateless people

People left without a nationality, in a legal limbo, with limited basic rights.


Response to vulnerability in asylum

Improving the system of identifying vulnerable asylum-seekers in Central Europe.


Women and girls can be particularly vulnerable, even when reaching an apparently safe place. 


Almost half of the displaced people are children who need special care. 

Older people

Older people have specific needs that have to be attended in every planning.

People with disabilities

A group often at the most extreme disadvantage in the uprooted community.

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