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Promoting Refugee Protection

What We Do
© UNHCR/T.Makeeva

UNHCR's activities to promote refugee protection, include:

  • Promoting accession to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. In 1999, UNHCR launched a campaign to promote accession to the 1951 Convention that culminated on its 50th anniversary in July 2001 and the Ministerial Meeting of States Parties to the 1951 Convention on 12 and 13 December 2001.
  • Assisting States to enact or revise national refugee legislation, including administrative instructions and operational guidelines, and to implement national refugee status determination procedures.
  • Strengthening relevant administrative and judicial institutions, training staff of government and non-governmental agencies, and liaising with relevant human rights bodies.

UNHCR is also involved in: research and advice on new laws and regulations affecting persons of concern to the Office; technical and financial support for law schools, governmental agencies (including the police and the military) and other institutes to develop refugee law courses; and support for human rights and refugee rights advocacy groups, legal aid centres and non-governmental organizations with an interest in refugee protection.




1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol

The key document on refugee protection in full, plus the text of the Protocol

List of States Parties to the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol

Countries which have acceded to the treaty.(External link)

Signing on Could Make all the Difference

A brochure on the benefits to governments of accession to the Refugee Convention.

Procedures for Becoming a State Party

A brochure on steps needed for a government to sign on to the Refugee Convention.