UNHCR Azerbaijan is a small office with 16 staff members covering around 1,600 asylum seekers and refugees. UNHCR Refugee Reception Center (RRC) reception center is located around 10 km away from the main office where most of protection activities take place which include registration, social counseling, legal counseling and distribution. The second and the third floor of the building is used by Hayat, an implementing partner of UNHCR which provides computer classes, language classes and various kinds of community activities.
Asylum seekers and refugees approaching UNHCR Azerbaijan are received at the Reception Center from Monday to Wednesday between 10 am and 1 pm. Each day a designated UNHCR staff member provides counseling on different protection issues: Monday – Resettlement and Voluntary Repatriation; Tues – Legal intervention (Naturalization, Birth Registration), Gender Based Violence; Wed – Refugee Status Determination, General Protection Issues. It has been noted that while particular asylum seekers and refugees repeatedly approach protection staffs even when they were already provided with all the information, others were not fully enjoying counseling opportunities due to the lack of information about the existing scheme.
In the end of November 2013, UNHCR protection staff members had rounds of brainstorming sessions to analyze existing problems and find ways to improve the efficiency of counseling at the Reception Center.
Learn more about our innovation process in the Prezi below!
About the author
Soojin worked at NGOs assisting asylum seekers and refugees in Korea and Japan prior to joining UNHCR. She joined UNHCR in Feb 2011 as an Associate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer of the Branch Office in Nairobi, Kenya. In Nairobi, she supervised registration activities in the office and was involved in the hand-over of registration and RSD of asylum seekers to the government of Kenya. She was also deployed to Upper Nile, South Sudan for three months in 2012 as a member of UNHCR emergency response team. Since Feb 2013, she is working at UNHCR representation in Azerbaijan as an Associate Protection Officer.
If you’d like to repost this article on your website, please see our reposting policy.