United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)


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Why in news?

  • The High Court of Manipur on Monday allowed seven Myanmar nationals, who entered India secretly following the February military coup, to travel to New Delhi to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

About UNHCR:

  • UNHCR is a program governed by the UN General Assembly, and the UN Economic and Social Council.
  • UNHCR is mandated to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
  • It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
  • UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes (1954, 1981).
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
  • UNHCR presently has major missions in Lebanon, South Sudan, Chad/Darfur, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as Kenya. (These countries face major refugee crisis).


  • UNHCR in India conducts Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures.
  • World Refugee Survey by US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants estimate the number of refugees in India at 456,000.
  • Maximum number of refugees in India are from Tibet followed by Tamil Eelam, Arakan coast (Myanmar), Afghanistan and Somalia.

Prelims Question:

Consider the following statements regarding UN High commission on refugees:
1.Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.
2.It does not have an office in India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a)1 only
(b)2 only
(c)Both 1 and 2
(d)Neither 1 nor 2

Answer to Prelims question