2014 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award photographs with the representatives of the Butterflies after the Ceremony.
© UNHCR/MHenley

Nansen Refugee Award

The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award goes virtual

Established in 1954, the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award honours individuals, groups and organizations who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect refugees, displaced and stateless people.


Each year the Laureate of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award is honoured at a ceremony held in Geneva, Switzerland. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony will be a virtual event featuring performances by notable UNHCR supporters and addresses by leaders in the humanitarian field.

The ceremony will be broadcast in English on 5 October at 18:30 CET on UNHCR’s YouTube channel.

Meet the 2020 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Regional Winners

We are honoured to announce the Regional Winners of the 2020 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award, each selected from more than 200 nominees for their outstanding work with refugees, displaced and stateless people.

For the first time in the history of the Award, all the selected Regional Winners are women. The overall winner of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award – who is not listed amongst the Regional Winners below – will be revealed on 1 October.

Uganda. Congolese refugee overcomes horror to win Nansen regional prize

AFRICA REGIONAL WINNER: Sabuni Francoise Chikunda

Francoise Sabuni Chikunda is a refugee school teacher from the Democratic Republic of Congo living in Uganda. She is the founder and chair of The Women's Centre helping victims and survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.  

Meet Sabuni

Iran. Sports coach helping Afghans back to school wins Nansen regional prize

ASIA REGIONAL WINNER: Rozma Ghafouri

Rozma Ghafouri is an Afghan refugee living in Iran. She is an aspiring footballer using her love for sport to get refugee children off the streets and into the classroom.

Meet Rozma

Ukraine. Activist for people with disabilities wins Nansen Europe regional prize

EUROPE REGIONAL WINNER: Tetiana Barantsova

Tetiana Barantsova, from Ukraine is a human rights activist and the co-founder of AMI-Skhid, an NGO which advocates for change and protection of the rights of people with disabilities, including disabled internally displaced people.

Meet Tetiana

Jordan. Children's reading advocate wins Nansen Middle East regional prize

MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL WINNER: Rana Dajani

Dr. Rana Dajani, a scientist and mother of four on a quest to make reading and learning accessible to refugee children. Dr. Dajani founded the We Love Reading project. The initiative aims to make books and reading accessible to children in every community including refugee camps. 

Meet Rana