Safeguarding the right to seek safety

Photo: ©UNHCR/A.Krause

When refugees flee war or persecution, they lose the protection of their own country. If other countries don’t let them in or look after them, their safety, human rights and even their lives could be in danger.

UNHCR seeks to uphold the basic human rights of uprooted or stateless people – ensuring they’re not returned involuntarily to countries where they could face persecution.

In times of crisis, UNHCR protection officers work on key borders to help register and assist refugees, with specialist protection for especially vulnerable refugees – including children, pregnant women and elderly people. UNHCR provides physical protection, minimising the threat of violence or sexual assault, and helps those fleeing understand their rights relating to asylum.

In the longer term, UNHCR helps refugees access long-term legal solutions to their situations – whether that’s returning voluntarily to their homelands when safe to do so, integrating in their countries of asylum, or resettling in other places altogether.


Our supporters help fund

Emergency assistance

for the most vulnerable at times of crisis.

Physical protection

against the threat of violence and sexual assault.

Legal assistance

to avoid involuntary repatriation and find long-term solutions

Safety at last for Carmen and her daughter Annie

Carmen comes from Honduras, which has seen a surge in violence in recent years. When the family started getting death threats, they fled to the UNHCR-funded Tres Angeles Shelter in Southern Mexico – where we’re ensuring they have safety, shelter and legal support to help them navigate the local asylum system.

“We feel safe at this shelter. It is the first time we have felt safe in a very long time,” says Carmen. “I hope our asylum claim will be successful and we can start to live again.”

Photo: ©UNHCR/Sebastian Rich

Did you know more than 2.6 million refugees in camps have been displaced for over five years?

Share This