Our photo library in Geneva is the world's largest collection of refugee-related photos covering nearly all of the major displacements of the last 60 years. These images provide a comprehensive portrait of the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people and the stateless in all corners of the globe, as well as the work of thousands of UN staff who have helped them. Most photos are showcased here and on Flickr. We offer the use of our photos free to the media - please just remember to credit us!
Mediterranean Tragedies Put Focus on Those in Peril on the Sea
Added 21 Apr 2015
April has proved to be the cruellest month this year for refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean on smuggler’s boats, many setting out from lawless Libya for southern Europe and others trying to reach Greece. The number of crossings has multiplied this month, but at least two boats have sunk off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, leaving hundreds feared dead. Distress calls have been received from boats off Greece and Italy. In one case last week, the Italian Coastguard rescued a crowded and sinking dinghy carrying severely burned refugees, which were caused by an exploding gas canister at the shelter where they had been held by smugglers in Libya. The UN refugee agency has called on the European Union to restore a robust search-and-rescue operation for refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean and for a comprehensive approach to address the root causes. To date this year, about 36,000 people have crossed Mediterranean waters to Italy and Greece, as war and violence intensify in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
Victims of Conflict in Nigeria Find Safety in Cameroon Camp
Added 27 Mar 2015
All photographs: UNHCR / Helene Caux
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres visited Cameroon in late March to put a spotlight on the situation there of tens of thousands of refugees from Nigeria. These people have escaped mounting violence by insurgents in the north-east of their country. Among the places that Guterres visited during his March 24-25 visit is the Minawao Refugee Camp, where many of the uprooted have been relocated.
Situated about 75 miles from the dangerous border area with Nigeria in Cameroon’s Far North region, Minawao camp is currently home to 33,000 Nigerian refugees, mainly from Borno state. Many of the arrivals are traumatised and in need of material and psycho-social help. They told the High Commissioner of losing their homes and belongings as well as members of their families. Some were injured. In total, an estimated 74,000 Nigerians have found refuge in Cameroon while cross-border incursions from Nigeria have displaced 96,000 Cameroonians. UNHCR photographer Hélène Caux also visited Minawao to hear the individual stories.
The Anguish of Syria’s Refugees Enters a Fifth Year
Added 13 Mar 2015
These are the faces of Syrian refugees – more than 3.8 million in neighbouring countries alone – who fled their homes to escape a war that’s unleashed one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. They imagined their exile might last weeks or months. Now the conflict is raging into a fifth year.
Many refugees reached safety after treacherous journeys by car, bus or a motorcycle. Others walked across deserts and rivers, or climbed over mountains to escape persecution and death in Syria.
They made their homes in informal settlements across Lebanon, in organised camps in Turkey and Jordan, and in unfinished buildings and other insecure dwellings around Beirut, Amman and Istanbul, stretching their hosts’ resources, and hospitality, to the limit.
UNHCR has appealed for billions of dollars to help bring aid to Syria’s refugees. With partners, the refugee agency is providing shelter, medical care, food and education. But what the refugees need most is an end to the devastating conflict, so they can regain hope of returning to Syria and rebuilding their broken homeland.