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. (19541961 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”.

Main activities


UNHCR is engaged in the development of legislative and administrative frameworks in the areas of asylum, civil documentation and durable solutions. UNHCR also strengthens the capacity of the central and municipal authorities and helps develop and implement a protection framework that meets international and regional human rights standards.


  • UNHCR contributes to the establishment of a functioning asylum system in Kosovo. Through partnerships, UNHCR is developing 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 aim to support the institutions in establishing protection–sensitive entry mechanisms and implementing asylum legislation.
  • Technical legal support and advice is provided 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 population and recommends measures for systematic solution to reduce and prevent new situations of risk of statelessness.

Durable Solutions

In the context of durable solutions and sustainable reintegration, UNHCR regularly monitors the protection situation of the minority voluntary returnees 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.
  • Through its partners, UNHCR supports its persons of concern with legal assistance, psychosocial counselling, protection monitoring, housing construction, post return package including food, NFI, and income generating projects.
  • UNHCR is involved in providing direct material assistance to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families currently displaced in the fYROM and in Montenegro through outreach activities, advocacy, facilitation of returns, construction of 60 individual housing units, provision of food and NFIs, as well as socio-economic assistance.
  • UNHCR is also promoting confidence-building and peaceful co-existence through forums involving communities’ representatives, relevant stakeholders and civil society, which provides space for seeking joint resolutions, hence laying the foundations for durable solutions and sustainable reintegration.

Working with partners

UNHCR coordinates activities with UNMIK and the EU Office in Kosovo. It participates in the UN Kosovo Team (UNKT) and the implementation of the UNKT Common Development Plan. UNHCR also works closely with OSCE and IOM.


Implementing partners:

Civil Rights Program Kosovo (CRPK); Kosovo Agency for Advocacy and Development (KAAD); Kosovo Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT); Development Together (DT).


Operational partners:

Institutions:  Ministry of Communities and Returns; Ministry of Local Government Administration; Ministry of Internal Affairs; Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare; Kosovo Agency for Statistics; Kosovo Property Agency

NGOs: Danish Refugee Council (DRC)


*References to the authorities and laws in Kosovo should be construed within the context of the UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)



UNHCR office in Pristina: St. Radovan Zogovic 5, Pejton, 10000 Pristina

Contacts: Mr. Shpend Halili, Comm/PI, (halilis@unhcr.org), Tel: +381 (0) 38 241 509


More on United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – www.unhcr.org