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!
Displacement in South Sudan: A Camp Within a Camp
Added 08 Jan 2014
In the three weeks since South Sudan erupted in violence, an estimated 200,000 South Sudanese have found themselves displaced within their own country. Some 57,000 have sought sanctuary at bases of UN peace-keepers across the country. These photos by UNHCR’s Senior Regional Public Information Officer Kitty McKinsey give a glimpse of the daily life of the 14,000 displaced people inside the UN compound known locally as Tong Ping, near the airport in Juba, South Sudan’s capital. Relief agencies, including UNHCR, are rallying to bring shelter, blankets and other aid items, but in the first days, displaced people had to fend for themselves. The compounds have taken on all the trappings of small towns, with markets, kiosks, garbage collection and public bathing facilities. Amazingly, children still manage to smile and organize their own games with the simplest of materials.
Central African Republic Crisis – Christians seek shelter at the International Airport and Catholic Churches
Added 02 Jan 2014
In Central African Republic, 800,000 people have been displaced since December 5th fighting between majority Muslim Seleka Rebels who seized power in March and Christian militia groups know as anti-Balaka. Civilians have become the victims in a cycle of revenge attacks by either side in a country where religious groups lived in harmony before the descent into violence since the 2013 coup. With one fifth of the population displaced, the majority of those fleeing violence seek shelter with relatives, work colleagues or in churches and mosques.
Street battles have displaced an estimated 400,000 people in Bangui the capital alone.100,000 are seeking shelter at the international airport with the relative protection of an African Union force and the French military that are based at the airport. With Christians and Muslim civilians both fearing reprisal attacks if they return home from the rival rebel and militant groups, there are huge humanitarian challenges to be met to supply the camps with shelter, clean drinking water, latrines, food and medical treatment. UNHCR has responded by supplying tents and non-food items to IDPs at the airport and churches within the capital.
Forced to grow up too soon in Lebanon: Mahmoud
Added 29 Nov 2013
Mahmoud,15, hasn't been to school in 3 years. In his native Syria, his parents were afraid to send him because of the civil war. They ended up fleeing a year ago when, in the early morning hours, a bomb fell on a nearby house. The family, still groggy from being jolted awake, grabbed what they could and fled to Lebanon. Their home and the local school have since been destroyed.
In Lebanon, Mahmoud’s father is unable to find work and now the family can barely afford rent.
A month ago, Mahmoud started working for tips cleaning fish at a small shop next to his home. He makes about £37 a month. With this money he helps pay rent on his family’s tiny underground room, shared between his parents and eight brothers and sisters. Mahmoud is proud to help his family but with the fish shop located in the same subterranean structure as his home, he barely goes out into the sunshine.
Children like Mahmoud, some as young as seven, often work long hours for little pay, and in some cases in dangerous conditions. These children forfeit their future by missing out on an education and the carefree years of childhood. Many are also traumatised by what they witnessed back in Syria.
UNHCR and its partners together with local governments are providing financial assistance to help vulnerable Syrian refugee families cover expenses like rent and medical care, which means there is less need to pull children out of school and put them to work. UN agencies and their partners have also established case management and referral systems in Jordan and Lebanon to identify children at risk and refer them to the appropriate services. All photos UNHCR / S. Baldwin