In the words of the first UNHCR’ s first High Commissioner, “ Refugee status should not be granted for one day longer than is absolutely necessary. ” Therefore, as soon as the crisis that precipitated the fleeing and refugee status is mitigation or removed, the refugees are to return to their own countries. Moreover, the definition of a refugee as outlined in the Geneva Convention does not include those who flee for purely economic reasons, but rather those who are the victims of political or civil strife in their countries as a result of which they fear persecution.
It does not offer protection for those individuals who flee from human rights abuses, rather it applies to those individuals who are displaced outside their state of origin, those who lack the protection of a State and those who fear persecution for reasons that have been defined with the scope of this instrument. The function of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is to ensure that 107 host nations that have agreed to abide by the Convention respect international standards that have been laid out for the treatment of refugees, especially in the fields of education, residency, employment, freedom of movement and protection against being forcibly repatriated back to their country of origin.
The UNHCR works with both the refugees and the host countries. In the case of the refugees, the UNHCR provides them with access to social workers and legal assistance in processing their claims for asylum. It also provides guidance and assistance to those countries where refugees are being repatriated and simultaneously works closely with other UN bodies to ensure that a balanced package of emergency relief assistance is provided to the refugees such as food, shelter and medical assistance, apart from education, training, and access to social services.
Additionally, the UNHCR also arranges for psychological counseling and rehabilitation of refugees.
* Afghanistan – still major challenges ahead” [online] retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/afghan?page=intro
* Chad Darfur emergency [online] retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/chad?page=intro
* “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” [online] available at: http://www.unmis.org/English/cpa.htm
* Currier, Nuchhi R, No Date. “1954 UN High Commissioner for refugees: Keeping pace with History in the making” Un Chronicle Online Edition [online] Retrieved September 14, 2007 from: http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/2003/issue3/0303p38.asp
* D’Adesky, Anne-Christine, 1991. “UNHCR: Facing the refugee challenge: United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees.” U.N.Chronicle, September 1991. [online] Retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1309/is_n3_v28/ai_11547649/pg_1
* “Ex-Militia members in DR Congo’s Ituri district to begin demobilizing –UN” [online] available at: http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2007/07/ex-militia-memb.html
* “Growing needs amid continual displacement” [online] retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/iraq?page=intro
* Harvey, Colin, 2000. “The meaning of persecution” New Law Journal, 159 (6945): 1120
* “Iraq situation response: Update on revised activities under the January 2007 supplementary appeal.” [online] Retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/LSGZ-753D7P?OpenDocument
* Protecting refugees” [online] retrieved September 15, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/protect/3c0794574.html
* Secretary of State for the Home Department v Sergei Vasilyevrich Savchenkov (1996) Imm AR 28
* “Somalia: Repatriation threatens stability in Somaliland.” [online] Retrieved September 16, 2007 from: http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/article/detail/729/
* South Sudan Operation. [online] retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/southsudan?page=intro
* “The wall behind which refugees can shelter” [online] Retrieved September 17, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/home/PUBL/3b5e90ea0.pdf, at page 15
* “UNHCR: Basic Facts” [online] Retrieved September 14, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/basics.html
* “UNHCR lays on free meals for Iraqi refugees during Ramadan.” [online] retrieved September 16, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/home.html
* UNHCR’s expanded role in support of the inter agency response to internal displacement situations.” [online] Retrieved September 15, 2007 from: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/excom/opendoc.pdf?tbl=EXCOM&id=44892fc82
* United nations High Commissioner for refugees” [online] Retrieved September 14, 2007 from: http://www.un.kz/script_site.php?id=39