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About Us
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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 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 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. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 8,600 people in more than 125 countries continues to help some 33.9 million persons.

The High Commissioner

António Guterres, who joined UNHCR on June 15, 2005, is the UN refugee agency's 10th High Commissioner.

Governance and Organization

UNHCR has a well-structured mechanism and leadership in place to ensure that it meets the needs of people of concern.

UNHCR People

A network of friends, ranging from high-profile Goodwill Ambassadors to enthusiastic civilian supporters, help us reach a wide audience.

History of UNHCR

The organization has come a long way since its launch in 1950, winning two Nobel Peace Prizes and helping millions around the world.

Figures at a Glance

Discover how many people we help, how many countries we operate in, how many staff we have, how big our budget is and other data.

Support Our Events

Get involved in our flagship annual event, or nominate someone for the Nansen Award.

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The 1951 Refugee Convention

The Geneva Refugee Convention has been instrumental in helping an estimated 50 million people restart their lives.