WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR)
Established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is mandated to:
- Lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide (1951 Convention– 1967 Protocol)
- Prevent statelessness from occurring, to resolve those cases that do occur and to protect the rights of stateless persons. (1954–1961 Conventions)
UNHCR Kosovo*, through the UNSCR 1244 (1999), also performs a specific mandate to assure the “safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo”.
- UNHCR engages in the development of legislative and administrative frameworks in the areas of asylum, civil documentation and durable solutions. By strengthening the capacity of the central and municipal authorities, UNHCR fosters the development and implementation of a protection framework, which can meet international and regional human rights standards. In that respect, UNHCR:
- Contributes to the establishment of an efficient asylum system in Kosovo. Through various partnerships, UNHCR develops the capacity of relevant stakeholders engaged in asylum matters, taking into consideration mixed migration perspective. In collaboration with the responsible law enforcement authorities and partners, UNHCR monitors all official entry points with the aim to support the institutions in establishing protection–sensitive entry mechanisms and implementing asylum legislation.
- Provides technical legal support and advice to legal and administrative structures in bringing legislation and policies relevant to risk of statelessness into compliance with international standards. UNHCR contributes to identifying the legislative and administrative gaps, assessing the situation of unregistered and undocumented Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities and recommends measures for systematic solution to reduce and prevent the risk of statelessness.
- In the context of durable solutions and sustainable reintegration, UNHCR regularly monitors the protection situation of the minority voluntary returns and internally displaced populations across Kosovo. Their needs and rights are addressed through the active engagement of responsible institutions in finding solutions for obstacles in voluntary return and reintegration.
- In close coordination with Kosovo institutions and international actors, UNHCR supports durable solutions for internally displaced persons, in particular those in temporary collective centres.
Working with partners
- International organizations: UNHCR coordinates activities with UNMIK and the EU Office in Kosovo, participates in the UN Kosovo Team (UNKT) and contributes to the implementation of the UNKT Common Development Plan. UNHCR also works closely with OSCE and IOM.
- Implementing partners: Civil Rights Program Kosovo, Kosovo Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, Advancing Together.
- Local institutions: Ministry of Communities and Returns, Ministry of Local Government Administration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
*References to the authorities and laws in Kosovo should be construed within the context of the UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)
UNHCR’s office address: Lorenc Antoni Str. no 26, Pejton, 10000 Pristina
Office Tel: +381 (0) 38 241 509
Contact: Mr. Shpend Halili (email@example.com)
More on United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – www.unhcr.org