Currently, over 12,000 refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR in Tunisia. In 2023, movement patterns to and through Tunisia have increased in scale, while the suffering and loss of life continue unabated for people travelling in mixed movements. At the crossroads of migratory routes between Africa and Europe, Tunisia plays an increasingly significant role as a country of transit and destination along the central Mediterranean migration route for people forced to flee. Individuals move from East, Central, and West Africa as well as from the Middle East to Tunisia through perilous journeys. Among those with international protection needs are people transiting through Libya, and Algeria as well as people rescued at sea and disembarked in Tunisia.
UNHCR is the sole entity responsible for conducting registration and Refugee Status Determination (RSD). In close coordination with the Tunisian authorities and national partners, with the support of donors, UNHCR seeks to strengthen the protection space and ensure that persons in need of international protection receive lifesaving assistance and have access to means and services to build their resilience. The advocacy for a national asylum system and a gradual transfer of competencies to the Government remains UNHCR's paramount objective.
UNHCR has been active in Tunisia since 1957 when Tunisian authorities asked for its assistance to protect several thousands of Algerian refugees. UNHCR established an honorary representation in 1963, then a full representation through the signature of a Headquarters agreement in 2011 between UNHCR and the Tunisian Government. Since then, UNHCR works in close collaboration with authorities and Tunisian civil society to promote a favourable protection environment for refugees and asylum-seekers in Tunisia.
For information about our work in Tunisia:
Are you a refugee or asylum-seeker in Tunisia? Find information about your rights and available services on our HELP site.
For up-to-date information about our programmes and operations in Tunisia, including funding level and donor contributions, visit Global Focus, UNHCR's reporting portal.
For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.
Office contact details
For information about our operation in Tunisia, please contact us through our Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.