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!
Human Misery in Katanga Province’s Triangle of Death
Added 20 Nov 2014
All photos: UNHCR / B. Sokol
People in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Katanga province have long referred to the region between the towns of Manono, Mitwaba and Pweto as the “triangle of death.” Despite the presence of UN peace-keepers and government military successes in other parts of the country, the situation in the resources-rich Katanga has been getting worse over the past two years. Conflict between a secessionist militia group and the government and between the Luba (Bantu) and Twa (Pygmy) ethnic groups has left thousands dead and forcibly displaced more than 400,000 people since 2012, including over 70,000 in the last three months. UNHCR has expressed its “deep concern” about the “catastrophic" humanitarian situation in northern Katanga. The violence includes widescale looting and burning of entire villages and human rights’ violations such as murder, mass rape and other sexual violence, and the forced military recruitment of children.
The limited presence of humanitarian and development organisations is a serious problem, leading to insufficient assistance to displaced people who struggle to have access to basic services. There are 28 sites hosting the displaced in northern Katanga and many more displaced people live in host communities. While UNHCR has built around 1,500 emergency shelters since January, more is needed, including access to health care, potable water, food and education. The following striking photographs by Brian Sokol for UNHCR show some of the despair and suffering.
One Year On: Thousands Still Recovering from Typhoon Haiyan
Added 19 Nov 2014
All photos: UNHCR / P. Behan
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record anywhere – ran ashore in the central Philippines, causing wide devastation, displacing 4 million people and killing at least 6,300. A year on, and the recovery work still goes on. While most of the 4.1 million people who were displaced have either returned home to rebuild, or been relocated, solutions are still needed for around 20,000 people either living in shelters or – in a small number of cases – with host families.
The UN refugee agency and partners such as shipments and logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS) were swift to respond last November, contributing funds for immediate needs and for long-term recovery. Funding was used to provide critical aid during the emergency, including tents, solar-powered lanterns and protection kits.
A year after the typhoon struck, some people in Leyte province, one of the areas hardest hit, are still rebuilding their lives. People still need help with physical dwellings, water and sanitation, hygiene, as well as land and property issues. Some live in tents, others have moved into transitional housing and some families are building new houses. Despite the trauma, there is a real sense of hope for the future among the people of Leyte. Photographer Phil Behan and UNHCR staff member Marjanna Bergman visited the central Philippines to record the situation today.
Displacement, Disability and Uncertainty in Ukraine
Added 22 Oct 2014
To date, around 275,500 people have been displaced by fighting in Ukraine. Becoming displaced is bad enough. But for Viktoria, 41, and Aleksandr, 40, who both have cerebral palsy, even life under normal circumstances is difficult. They also have two sons - Dima, 20, and Ivan, 19 months.
At the end of July, shelling in Donetsk forced Viktoria and Aleksandr to flee to the Kharkiv region. It wasn’t long before Viktoria’s medication ran out. In a desperate bid to help, Aleksandr called the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, who found them transportation and accommodation in Kharkiv.
From there, they were taken to a summer camp called Prometei. The forest, the fresh air and a lake near the camp offered a perfect setting to spend the summer. But, like 120 other internally displaced people living there, all Viktoria and Aleksandr could think about was home. They had hoped to return by the autumn. But autumn soon came and went.
Today, it is still not safe to go back to Donetsk. The camp is not winterised and the administration has asked people to leave by October 15th.
Neither Viktoria nor Aleksandr know where they and their young son can go next.