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Legal Protection

UNHCR promotes the basic human rights of refugees and ensures they will not be returned involuntarily to a country where they face persecution. We help them to repatriate to their homeland when conditions permit, integrate into states of asylum or resettle in third countries.

We also promote international refugee agreements, help states establish asylum structures and act as an international watchdog over refugee issues.

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An alternative for those who cannot go home, made possible by UNHCR and governments.


Learn more about resettlement


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The 1951 Refugee Convention

The 1951 Refugee Convention is the key legal document that forms the basis of UNHCR's work. 


Learn more about the 1951 Refugee Convention


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UNHCR Statute


The Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was adopted by the General Assembly on 14 December 1950 and defines the functions of the High Commissioner.


Learn more about our statute

Legal and Protection Policy Research - A series of legal research and protection policy papers issued by the UNHCR Division of International Protection.