At Syria talks in Sochi, UNHCR emphasizes importance that returns meet international standards

Syria. UNHCR staff assess needs of displaced from Afrin

UNHCR staff assess the needs of families displaced from Afrin in Zyarah, Syria, April 2018.  © UNHCR/Hameed Maarouf

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, participating in the Astana-format meeting on Syria in Sochi, Russian Federation, had today the opportunity to share its views on voluntary repatriation. 

UNHCR underlined its firm commitment to Syrian refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) to help them to exercise their right to return voluntarily, in safety and dignity, and to participate actively in the building of peace in their county.

During the two-day conference, the UNHCR delegation shared the organization's expertise and experience, stemming from more than 60 years of global operational engagement in responding to massive refugee crises. Finding durable solutions to the plight of refugees is integral to UNHCR’s work, including through voluntary returns of those forced to flee their homes. There is collective responsibility to ensure that returns are in line with agreed international standards.

UNHCR is closely following the developments on the ground in Syria and is engaged on all meaningful opportunities to support refugees who wish to return home. For returns to be genuinely sustainable, they must be voluntary, safe and dignified and pursued in a way that contributes to the building of lasting peace and stability.