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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

What is UNHCR? Since 1951, UNHCR has helped over 50 million refugees to restart their lives.

UNHCR is the UN agency mandated to ensure respect for the rights of people fleeing war and persecut -

Twice-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, UNHCR cares for more than 20 million of the world’s most


In the European Union, UNHCR promotes respect for international refugee protection norms and c UNHCR in Belgium

UNHCR has been present in Brussels since 1951. Brussels is now the base for UNHCR's Regional Bureau for Europe. The UNHCR Representation in Brussels is responsible for UNHCR’s relations with the European Union Institutions and the follwoing European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom: - The Representation works to ensure that international refugee protection norms are respected at national and EU levels; - It contributes actively to the development of EU and national laws and policies on asylum; - It mobilizes public, political and financial support for refugees and for the work of UNHCR from nine above-mentioned countries and the EU. Main Achievements UNHCR is the designated guardian of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which is the cornerstone of international refugee law. Some provisions such as the definition of


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

the term 'refugee' and the principle of non- return of people to countries where they could face persecution (non-refoulement) have become fundamental principles of international law. With the treaty's help, UNHCR has assisted millions of people to rebuild their shattered lives, and regional international legal instruments have been created which have their foundations in the 1951 Convention. Library You may view and download UNHCR publications on the website: Links UNHCR Global: Contacts Details For further information, please contact: UNHCR Regional Representation for the Benelux and European Institutions Rue Van Eyck 11b 1050 Brussels Tel: +32 2 627 59 99 Fax: +32 2 627 59 98 Email:



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