Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

The UN Refugee Agency is represented in Switzerland by the UNHCR Bureau for Switzerland and Liechtenstein, based in Geneva. This liaison agency is an important ally for the SRC: as a key partner for the Refugee Days, celebrated every year in June, or by supporting the Swiss Asylum Symposium from the start.

UNHCR News - Selection

UNHCR’s paper «Better Protecting Refugees in the EU and Globally»
In a paper presented to the European Union (EU) december 5, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, called for a far-reaching reform of Europe’s global engagement with refugees, including the European asylum system. UNHCR called on Europe to offer more strategic.

UNHCR Guidelines for Assessing Asylum-Seekers from Afghanistan
UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner urges continued international support for Afghan returnees and internally displaced or risk further population outflows. Press Releases, 19 April 2016

2015 likely to break records for forced displacement
Indications from the first half of the year suggest 2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time. In a global context, that means that one person in every 122 has been forced to flee their home. This shows the now published UNHCR 2015 Mid-Year Trends report.

Refugees should not be turned into scapegoats
The UN refugee agency has expressed its shock and horror at the attacks in Paris and the killing of so many innocent people, and cautioned against the scapegoating of refugees – a position and concern the Swiss Refugee Council shares.