UK Press Releases
Getting the Message Out
UNHCR has welcomed the findings of the Home Affairs Select Committee's report into the UK asylum system, particularly with regard to the quality of decision-making, and will continue to work with the Home Office to improve asylum procedures.
The United Kingdom has adopted a new 'landmark' stateless determination procedure that allows stateless people, currently living on the margins of society and in legal limbo, a route to be formally recognised as stateless and to legalise their presence in the UK.
Their Royal Highnesses met with Syrian refugees in Jordan on a visit hosted by UNHCR. Following the hour-long visit, Prince Charles said: “It's remarkable what UNHCR and others are doing to try and deal with this unbelievably difficult and heart-breaking situation.
UNHCR’s Global Trends report details the extent of forced displacement after 2011's string of major humanitarian crises, which resulted in a record number of refugees. The UK was 6th on the list of European destination countries for asylum seekers.
Refugees are making outstanding contributions to British sport, as those who have fled persecution compete in international events Euro 2012 and the Olympics this summer.
The Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) John Vine, today releases an inspection of the Detained Fast Track (DFT) asylum procedure. In two independent audits of the DFT, UNHCR has identified the following key concerns.
On November 22nd, UNHCR and Asylum Aid launch their joint report Mapping Statelessness in the UK.
On the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the report looks at the number and situation of stateless persons living in the UK, and recommends legal solutions to the plight into which stateless persons are forced.
Today (14 November) marks the opening at the Royal Albert Hall of Nowhere People: The Global Face of Statelessness, an exhibition by award-winning photographer Greg Constantine. The exhibition has been shown in New York, Washington, Geneva and Madrid and arrives in London before travelling on to Tokyo.
Nationality might seem like a universal birthright, but an estimated 12 million people are living without it. These stateless people have no legal identity, are citizens of no country and are some of the most vulnerable and invisible people in the world.
On Friday 2nd September, UNHCR signed an agreement with the Saïd and Asfari Foundations to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The Foundations will donate GBP 485,874 to support 2,600 refugees who are being hosted by local communities in northern Lebanon.
The donation will ensure that the refugee population has adequate shelter and is assisted to meet basic needs especially as winter approaches, that health, hygiene and psychosocial needs are met, that all the refugee children receive education and that there are also benefits for the local host community.
The Geneva Refugee Convention marks its 60th anniversary today as forced displacement becomes increasingly complex and as developing countries struggle to host the large majority of the world’s refugees.
The UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was formally adopted on July 28, 1951 to resolve the refugee problem in Europe after World War II. This global treaty provides a definition of who qualifies as a refugee - a person with a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion - and spells out the rights and obligations between host countries and refugees. As the legal foundation on which UNHCR’s work is based, it has enabled the agency to help millions of uprooted people to restart their lives in the last 60 years.
Home Secretary Theresa May will this afternoon receive refugees for tea at the Home Office to celebrate World Refugee Day and the start of Refugee Week (20-26 June). During Refugee Week this year people up and down the country will be celebrating 60 years of contributions refugees have made to British society, as 2011 is the 60th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention created to save the lives of people being persecuted in their own countries.
A UNHCR report released today reveals deep imbalance in international support for the world’s forcibly displaced, with a full four-fifths of the world’s refugees being hosted by developing countries – and at a time of rising anti-refugee sentiment in many industrialised ones. UNHCR’s 2010 Global Trends report shows that many of the world’s poorest countries are hosting huge refugee populations, both in absolute terms and in relation to the size of their economies. Pakistan, Iran, and Syria have the largest refugee populations at 1.9 million, 1.1 million, and 1 million respectively.
Where did Fish and Chips originate from? The UK? Wrong.
This is just one of the top ten unexpected accomplishments by refugees in Britain, compiled to launch Refugee Week 2011. It will throw up a few surprises.
Did you know, for example, that that the archetypal British car – the Mini – was created by a refugee? Or that some of Britain’s finest and most important buildings were designed and built by refugees?
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Refugee Week today launch a remarkable exhibition by award-winning Magnum photographer Ian Berry at Glasgow's Trongate 103 arts centre. '60 Years 6 Lives marks the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention and celebrates the lives of six refugees who have sought sanctuary in the UK in each of the decades since 1951, their photographs telling stories of personal struggle, courage and perseverance.
In response to issues raised by Channel 4s documentary 'Dispatches: The Kids Britain Doesn't Want', UNHCR Representative to the UK Roland Schilling, said:
"The position of the United Nations Refugee Agency is that detention of asylum seekers should as far as possible be avoided and that children in particular should not be subject to this practice. Strong efforts should be made to release detained children and their families to suitable alternative accommodation as soon as possible. Within this context, UNHCR welcomes the UK Governments stated intention to end the practice of detaining children...
UNHCR presents Kenya's Nubians: Then & Now, the first London exhibition for photographer Greg Constantine. Combining rare, historical photographs of the Nubian community with Constantine's recent work on the community's struggle for recognition, the exhibition aims to tell the story of this little-known community who, as one Nubian elder described is, 'being squeezed into extinction'. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, UNHCR commissioned photographer Greg Constantine to spend a month photographing the Nubians, one of the communities in Kenya exposed to the risk of statelessness.
In a speech at Oxford University, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has raised the alarm about the diminishing space in which humanitarian organisations are obliged to operate. He said that the intractable nature of armed conflict is one of the most preoccupying challenges for UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today publishes key findings and recommendations from its report on the quality of decision-making in the Detained Fast Track (DFT), where asylum applications are processed under accelerated procedures in a detained environment.
Some 43.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2009, the highest number of people uprooted by conflict and persecution since the mid-1990s, according to UNHCR's annual 2009 Trends report, released today. At the same time, the number of refugees voluntarily returning to their home countries has fallen to its lowest level in twenty years.
Growing numbers of Afghan children are making a difficult and dangerous overland
journey to Europe, travelling without their parents and exposed to dangers and
human rights abuses, a new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) report has found.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) presents 'Living Silence', a photographic exhibition of one of the world's most enduring refugee crises, by award-winning photographer Saiful Huq Omi.
Asylum applications in the United Kingdom over 2009 declined by five percent in comparison with the previous year, with 29,800 people seeking protection as refugees, the third lowest figure in 15 years according to a new UN refugee agency report.
Early results from Iraq's national election, widely seen as a test of its democracy and a step towards stability after years of sectarian conflict, brought mixed reactions from Iraqi refugees still concerned about the situation back home.
The UN refugee agency appealed on Tuesday for some US$20 million in funding to help it meet the needs of tens of thousands of civilians who have fled ethnic conflict in Democratic Republic of the Congo's Equateur province and sought shelter in neighbouring Republic of Congo.
Like many Iraqi refugees forced from their homeland by war and sectarian conflict, Murtada hopes parliamentary elections on March 7 will restore security to Iraq to facilitate the safe return of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis
UNHCR distributes non-food aid items to about 8,000 quake survivors and host families in a poverty stricken and underdeveloped border area of Haiti.
After waiting for hours outside a government registry office in the eastern Zimbabwe town of Mutare, Florence Nawengo had just been given a birth certificate, which will enable her to get an all-important national identity card.
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets earthquake survivors and local and overseas aid workers after flying to Haiti to "listen and learn."