Visiting Belarus visa-free

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950. The UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees — the legal foundation of helping refugees — and UNHCR Statute, guiding further organization’s work, were adopted in 1951.

UNHCR is governed by the Executive Committee, composed of 98 members, elected by UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Filippo Grandi (Italy) became the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in January 2016. The Organization is headquartered in Geneva.

UNHCR coordinates international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide regardless of their race, religion, political views and sex.

UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily. UNHCR strives to find a sustainable solution to the problem of refugees.

The Agency is operating in more than 110 countries, provides legal assistance to millions of refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people.

The UNHCR plays an important role in implementing the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and in the context of the Global Compact for Refugees.

UNHCR’s total budget for 2018 exceeds $7 bln.

Belarus has been cooperating with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1994. UNHCR office was established in Belarus in 1995. 

UNHCR in Belarus focuses on assisting public administration bodies in improving migration and refugee legislation, facilitating relevant training, providing refugees with legal and social protection. UNHCR contributes to cooperation between the government and NGOs on issues related to a refugee status.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees annually implements projects in Belarus aimed at strengthening the national asylum system and local integration capacity.