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UNHCR: The UN’s Refugee Agency

Kurzdossiers "Paradise Left Behind" – Begleitmaterial zum Film "Es geht um differenzierte Bilder." – Ein Gespräch über Paradise Left Behind Die ägäischen Inseln: von Räumen des Transits zu Räumen der Immobilisierung 'Schengen', 'Dublin' und die Ambivalenzen der EU-Migrationspolitik. Eine kurze Geschichte Paradise Left Behind Migration und Wirtschaft Die wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen von Zuwanderung Wie sich Migration auf die Herkunftsländer auswirkt Migrantische Ökonomien in Deutschland Fachkräfteengpässe und Arbeitsmigration nach Deutschland Migration und Handwerk – kurze Geschichte einer langen Verbindung Zugehörigkeit und Zusammenhalt in der Migrationsgesellschaft Was ist Heimat? Warum es so viel leichter ist über Nudelsalat zu reden als über Rassismus Die blinden Flecken antirassistischer Diskurse Was hält eine Gesellschaft zusammen? Was hält eine Gesellschaft zusammen? Konfliktbearbeitung ist der Klebstoff der Demokratie Sozialer Zusammenhalt und das Gefühl, fremd im eigenen Land zu sein Die Gruppe der Ostdeutschen als Teil postmigrantischer Integrationsfragen Kommunale Migrations- und Flüchtlingspolitik Der "local turn" in der Migrations- und Asylpolitik Kommunen und ihre Rolle bei der Flüchtlingsaufnahme Kommunale Aufnahme von Flüchtlingen Interview: Migrations- und integrationspolitische Debatten im Deutschen Städtetag Kommunale Integrationspolitik in Deutschland: Teilhabe vor Ort ermöglichen Zufluchtsstädte im amerikanischen Einwanderungsföderalismus Migration in städtischen und ländlichen Räumen Geflüchtete in ländlichen Räumen Perspektive Geflüchteter auf das Leben auf dem Land Landlust oder Landfrust? Fleischindustrie Migrantische Arbeitskräfte in der malaysischen Palmölindustrie (Il)legal? Migrant_innen in der spanischen Landwirtschaft Das Wachstum der Städte durch Migration Migration und Männlichkeit Männlichkeit im Migrationskontext Muslimische Männlichkeit Väterlichkeiten Intersektionale Diskriminierung Sozialisation junger Muslime Migration – Kriminalität – Männlichkeit Migration und Sicherheit Einführung Migration und menschliche Sicherheit Foreign Fighters "Gefährder" Smart Borders Grenzkontrollen: Einblicke in die grenzpolizeiliche Praxis Die Polizei in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft Interview Radikalisierung in der Migrationsgesellschaft Schlepper: Dekonstruktion eines Mythos "Racial Profiling", institutioneller Rassismus und Interventionsmöglichkeiten Migration und Klimawandel Umwelt- und Klimamigration: Begriffe und Definitionen Zur Prognose des Umfangs klimabedingter Migrationen Der Zusammenhang zwischen Klimawandel und Migration Indikator für Verwundbarkeit oder Resilienz? Klimawandel, Migration und Geschlechterverhältnisse Rechtliche Schutzmöglichkeiten für "Klimaflüchtlinge" Interview mit Ulf Neupert Frauen in der Migration Migration qualifizierter Frauen in der EU Selbstorganisation geflüchteter Frauen* "Gastarbeiterinnen" in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Ein Überblick in Zahlen Migration und Geschlechterrollen Frauen auf der Flucht Interview Zahlenwerk: Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland Integrationskurse Geschlechtsbezogene Verfolgung – Rechtlicher Schutz Geflüchtete Frauen in Deutschland Kinder- und Jugendmigration Zahlenwerk Kindertransporte Die "Schwabenkinder" Kinder- und Jugendmigration aus GB Menschenrechte von Kindermigranten Third Culture Kids Kindersoldat_Innen Adoption und Kindermigration Kinderhandel Lebensborn e.V. Grenzzäune und -mauern Mauern und Zäune Integrationspolitik Integrationsmonitoring Integrationstheorien Interview mit Andreas Zick Integration in superdiverse Nachbarschaften Migration und Entwicklung Entwicklung und Migration, Umsiedlung und Klimawandel Migration und Entwicklung – eine neue Perspektive? Stand der Forschung Rücküberweisungen Diaspora als Impulsgeberin für Entwicklung Landgrabbing Interview mit Roman Herre Strukturumbrüche und Transformation Diaspora Was ist eine Diaspora? Exil, Diaspora, Transmigration Diaspora: Leben im Spannungsfeld Türkeistämmige in Deutschland Postsowjetische Migranten Polnische Diaspora Vietnamesische Diaspora Kurdische Diaspora Diaspora als Akteur der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Russlanddeutsche und andere postsozialistische Migranten Wer sind die Russlanddeutschen? Aussiedler Politische Partizipation von Russlanddeutschen Russlanddeutsches Verbandswesen Religiosität unter Russlanddeutschen Interview mit Peter Dück Russlanddeutsche in Russland Russlanddeutsche transnational Jüdische Kontingentflüchtlinge und Russlanddeutsche Transnationalismus als Beheimatungsstrategie Aushandlungen der Zugehörigkeit russlanddeutscher Jugendlicher Mediennutzung der russischen Diaspora in Deutschland 'Russische' Supermärkte und Restaurants in Deutschland Perspektiven auf die Integration von Geflüchteten in Deutschland Arbeitsmarktperspektiven von Geflüchteten Interview mit Gesa Hune Meinung: Geflüchtete fördern - oder es kann teuer werden Effekte der Fluchtmigration - Interview mit Prof. Dr. Herbert Brücker "Die müssen die Sprache lernen" Fremd- bzw. Zweitspracherwerb von Geflüchteten Die Arbeitsmarktintegration Geflüchteter in der Vergangenheit "Wohnst Du schon – oder wirst Du noch untergebracht?" Inklusion in das Schulsystem Ein Jahr Integrationsgesetz Interview mit Prof. Dr. Julia von Blumenthal Über die Zusammenhänge von Religion und Integration Interview: Digitale Bildungsangebote als Chance für Integration Innerafrikanische Migrationen Konsequenzen der Auslagerung der EU-Grenzen Kindermigration in Burkina Faso Flucht und Vertreibung Migranten als Akteure der Globalisierung Migrations- und Fluchtpfade Marokko Libyen Abschiebungen nach Afrika Leben nach der Abschiebung Flüchtlingslager Begriff und Geschichte des Lagers Orte der dauerhaften Vorläufigkeit: Flüchtlingslager im globalen Süden "Das Leben im Flüchtlingslager wird zur Normalität" Urbanisierungsprozesse Kleine Geschichte der Flüchtlingslager Lager in der Weimarer Republik Schlotwiese Uelzen-Bohldamm Friedland Zirndorf Marienfelde Das Jahr 2016: Ein Rückblick Globale Flüchtlingskrise hält weiter an Diskussion um kriminelle Geflüchtete Europa Literatur Resettlement Was ist Resettlement? Historische Entwicklung Resettlement durch UNHCR Resettlement im Vergleich zu anderen Aufnahmeprogrammen Aufnahme und Integration EU und Resettlement Deutschland Zukunft des Resettlements Literatur Akteure im (inter-)nationalen (Flucht-)Migrationsregime Akteure in Migrationsregimen und das Aushandeln von Migration Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge Die Europäische Grenzschutzagentur Frontex Die Asylagentur der Europäischen Union: neue Agentur, alte Herausforderungen UNHCR UNRWA – das UN-Hilfswerk für Palästina-Flüchtlinge im Nahen Osten Die Internationale Organisation für Migration (IOM) "Migration ist ein globales Thema, auf das es auch globale Antworten geben sollte." Flucht und Asyl: Grundlagen Abschiebung in der Geschichte Deutschlands Wie ist das Asylrecht entstanden? Das Asylverfahren in Deutschland Schutzanspruch im deutschen Asylverfahren? Sichere Herkunftsländer Das Konzept "sichere Herkunftsstaaten" Definition für Duldung und verbundene Rechte Flüchtlingsaufnahme und ihre Folgen Fluchtziel Deutschland Freiwillige Rückkehr Unbegleitete minderjährige Geflüchtete Abschiebung – Ausweisung – Dublin-Überstellung Begriff und Figur des Flüchtlings in historischer Perspektive Zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement Ehrenamtliches Engagement von Geflüchteten Interview mit J. Olaf Kleist Engagement in der Migrationsgesellschaft Politische Proteste von Geflüchteten Proteste gegen Abschiebungen Zivilgesellschaft und Integration Städte der Solidarität – ein Interview Beim Kirchenasyl geht es um den Schutz des Einzelnen. Ein Gespräch. Zivilgesellschaftliche Initiativen für sichere Fluchtwege – ein Überblick Migrantenorganisationen – vielfältige Akteurinnen gesamtgesellschaftlicher Integration (Flucht-)Migration und Gesundheit Medizinische Versorgung Interview David Zimmermann Definition von Migration Gesundheitszustand von Migranten Barrieren/ Prävention Erklärungsmodelle Schlussfolgerungen Literatur Das Jahr 2015: Ein Rückblick Fluchtmigration: Hintergründe Verwaltungs- und Infrastrukturkrise EU: Reaktionen auf die Fluchtzuwanderung Flüchtlingszahlen weltweit Internationale Studierende Einleitung Bildungsmigration Internationale Studierende Internationale Studierende in Deutschland Übergang in den Arbeitsmarkt Literatur Migration und Pflege Einführung Altern in der Migrationsgesellschaft Interview mit Helma Lutz Deutsche Asylpolitik und EU-Flüchtlingsschutz Einleitung Flüchtlingsrecht Asylrecht, Flüchtlingspolitik, humanitäre Zuwanderung Flucht und Asyl als europäisiertes Politikfeld Asyl und Asylpolitik Ausblick Literatur Integration in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft Einleitung Die postmigrantische Gesellschaft Paradigmenwandel Brauchen wir den Integrationsbegriff noch? Integration als Metanarrativ Notwendigkeit eines neuen Leitbildes Literatur Lifestyle Migration Was ist Lifestyle Migration? Briten in Spanien Einen neuen Lebensstil entdecken Folgen des Residenztourismus Zusammenfassung Literatur Wahlrecht und Partizipation von Migranten Einleitung Politische Rechte und Kommunalwahlrecht Wahlrecht für Drittstaatsangehörige Einbürgerung Aktuelle Entwicklungen Schlussbemerkungen Literatur Frontex und das Grenzregime der EU Einleitung Frontex – Fragen und Antworten Die Entwicklung des europäischen Grenzregimes Externalisierung Technologisierung Grenzwirtschaft/border economies Auf der anderen Seite des Grenzzauns Ist Einwanderung ein Risiko? Literatur Demografischer Wandel und Migration Einleitung Demografischer Übergang Deutschland und Europa Internationale Wanderung Integration und Reproduktionsverhalten Wanderungspolitik Regionale Muster Literatur Glossar English Version: Policy Briefs "Having a nationality is not a given, it is a privilege" Sanctuary and Anti-Sanctuary Immigration Law in the United States Migrant Smugglers Urbanizing Skilled Female Migrants in the EU Self-Organization of Women* Refugees Impact of Migration Revisited Child and Youth Migration Human Rights Protections Migration from the United Kingdom Adoption and Child Migration Third Culture Kids Trafficking in Children Actors in National and International (Flight)Migration Regimes UNHCR UNRWA International Organization for Migration The International Organization for Migration (IOM) German Asylum Policy and EU Refugee Protection Introduction Refugee Law Asylum Law, Refugee Policy, Humanitarian Migration Flight and Asylum Current Developments Current and Future Challenges References Integration in a Post-Migrant Society Introduction Post-Migrant Society Paradigm Shift Do We Still Need the Concept of Integration? Integration as a Metanarrative Need for a New Concept References Lifestyle Migration What Is Lifestyle Migration? British in Spain Realizing a New Style of Life Outcomes of Lifestyle Migration Conclusion References Voting rights and political participation Introduction Political and Municipal Voting Rights Voting Rights for Nationals of Non-EU States Naturalization Recent Developments Conclusions References Frontex and the EU Border Regime Introduction Frontex — Questions and Answers The Development of a European Border Regime Externalization Technologization Border Economies On the Other Side of the Border Fence Is Migration a Risk? References Demographic Change and Migration in Europe Introduction Demographic Transition Germany and Europe International Migration Reproductive Behavior Migration Policy Regional Patterns Glossary Further Reading Global Migration in the Future Introduction Increase of the World Population Growth of Cities Environmental Changes Conclusion: Political Migration References Germans Abroad Introduction Germans Abroad Expatriates in Hong Kong and Thailand Human Security Concerns of German Expatriates Conclusions References Migrant Organizations What Are Migrant Organizations? Number and Structure Their Role in Social Participation Multidimensionality and the Dynamic Character Interaction with their Environments Between the Countries of Origin and Arrival Conclusion References EU Internal Migration EU Internal Migration East-West Migration after the EU Enlargement Ireland United Kingdom Spain Portugal Greece Italy Germany Internal Migration in China Introduction Terminology Urban-Rural Disparity and Registration System Patterns of Migration Areas of Employment Second Generation Migration and Urbanization Migrants in China’s Cities Summary and Conclusions References Assessment of Qualifications Acquired Abroad Introduction Evolution of the Accreditation Debate The Importance of Accreditation Basic Principles Thus Far of the Accreditation of Qualifications Acquired Abroad Actors in the Accreditation Practice Reasons for Establishing a New Legal Framework The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act What Is Being Criticized? The Accreditation System in Transition Conclusion References From Home country to Home country? Context Motives Immigration and Integration in Turkey Identification Emigration or Return? References Integration in Figures Approaches Development Six Approaches Conclusion References Climate Change Introduction Estimates Affected areas Environmental migration Conclusion References Dual citizenship Discourse Classic objections Current debate Rule of law Conclusion References Female Labour Migration The labour market Dominant perceptions Skilled female migration Issues Conclusion References How Healthy are Migrants? Definition The Health Status Prevention/Barriers Migration and Health Conclusions References Networks Spain Migrant networks Effects of networks Romanian networks Conclusion References Integration Policy Introduction Demographic situation Economic conditions Labour market The case in Stuttgart Integration measures Evaluation Outlook References Irregular Migration Introduction The phenomenon Political approaches Controlling Sanctions Proposed directive Conclusions References Integration Courses Introduction The Netherlands France Germany United Kingdom Conclusions References Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals Introduction The Situation Health Worker Migration Costs and Benefits Perspectives and Conclusion References Triggering Skilled Migration Introduction Talking about mobility Legal framework Coming to Germany Mobility of scientists Other factors Conclusions References Remittances Introduction The Term Remittance Figures and Trends Effects Conclusion References EU Expansion and Free Movement Introduction Transitional Arrangements Economic Theory The Scale The Results Continued Restrictions Conclusion References The German "Green Card" Introduction Background Green Card regulation Success? Conclusion References Does Germany Need Labour Migration? Introduction Labour shortages Labourmarket Conclusion Labourmigration References Dutch Integration Model The "Dutch model"? The end? Intention and reality A new view Where next? References Impressum

UNHCR: The UN’s Refugee Agency

Gil Loescher

/ 6 Minuten zu lesen

There are about 60 million people in the world who are fleeing from war, persecution and poverty. A large part of the world's refugee population is under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), founded in 1951.

A Somali refugee stands inside a UNHCR tent with her baby in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe/ Flickr) Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de

While forced migration has been a feature of international society for a long time, international institutional concern for refugees only began in 1921 when the League of Nations appointed the first High Commissioner for Refugees, Fridtjof Nansen, to respond to the outflow of Russian refugees after World War I. Over the next twenty years, the scope and functions of assistance programs for refugees in Europe gradually expanded, as efforts were made to regularize the status and control of stateless and denationalized peoples. During and after World War II, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency and the International Refugee Organization, each with a radically different mandate, further developed the international organization framework for refugees. While both organizations repatriated and resettled large numbers of refugees, there remained several hundred thousand displaced persons in camps across Europe at the end of the 1940s. Moreover, with the onset of the Cold War, new groups of refugees from Eastern Europe fled westward. At the same time, massive new refugee crises occurred in India, Korea, China and Palestine. Consequently states felt there was an urgent need to create a new UN refugee agency, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Since 1951, an international refugee regime composed of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a network of other international agencies, national governments, and voluntary or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have developed a response strategy to deal with the global problem of refugees. Although unevenly applied, international laws, including the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and a number of regional conventions that designate refugees as a unique category of human rights victims, who should be accorded special protection and benefits have been signed, ratified and in force for over six and a half decades. In addition to its work for refugees, since 2005 UNHCR has been the lead agency for protection, shelter and camp maintenance for conflict-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) around the world.

The UNHCR’s Statute sets out a clear mandate, defining the Office’s core mandate as focusing on two principal areas: to work with states to ensure refugees’ access to protection from persecution and to ensure that refugees have access to a range of durable solutions. The Statute outlines three possible durable solutions for refugees: (1) voluntary repatriation to their countries of origin; (2) local integration in a new host country; or (3) resettlement to a third country.

UNHCR has become the principal organization within the global refugee regime. The centerpiece of the regime is the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees which provides a definition of who qualifies for refugee status and sets out the rights to which all recognized refugees are entitled. The 1951 Convention also explicitly identifies UNHCR as having supervisory responsibility for its implementation. The Office, therefore, has responsibility for monitoring and supporting states’ compliance with the norms and rules that form the basis of the global refugee regime.

Despite these provisions in its Statute and in the 1951 Convention, at its creation states ensured that UNHCR had a limited role. They originally restricted the Office’s work to individuals who were refugees as a result of events in Europe occurring before 1951. The refugee instruments also focused exclusively on refugees to the exclusion of other displaced persons. Furthermore, states originally required UNHCR to be a small, low-budget and temporary organization that would play an exclusively legal advisory role rather than engage in the provision of material assistance. Yet, from these inauspicious beginnings, the Office has over time expanded and adapted to become a permanent global organization with an annual budget in 2016 of a pledged $6 billion and over 10,000 staff in more than 125 countries, offering protection and assistance not only to refugees but also to internally displaced persons, stateless persons and other displaced people.

At key turning points in the past 65 years, the Office has responded to changes in the political and institutional environment within which it works by reinterpreting and broadening its role and mandate. From the 1960s on, UNHCR expanded beyond its original focus on providing legal protection to refugees fleeing communist regimes in Eastern and Central Europe to becoming increasingly involved in refugee situations in the global South. The passage of the 1967 UN Protocol eliminated the temporal and geographical limitations of the 1951 Convention. During the 1960s, violent decolonization and post-independence strife generated vast numbers of refugees in Africa which required it to take on an ever greater role in providing material assistance. The 1969 Organization of African Union Convention broadened the refugee definition further to include those fleeing ‘occupation, conflict and serious public order disturbances’. During the 1970s, mass exoduses from East Pakistan, Uganda and Indochina, highly politicized refugee crises in Chile, Brazil and Argentina, and the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Sudan expanded UNHCR’s mission around the globe. Following the refugee exoduses in South and Central America, the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees expanded the regional refugee definition to include those fleeing ‘generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts or massive violations of human rights.’ The 1980s also saw the Office shift away from its traditional focus on legal protection and assume a growing role in providing assistance to millions of refugees in camps and protracted situations in Southeast Asia, Central America and Mexico, South Asia, the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. During the post Cold War era, UNHCR assumed a wider role in providing massive humanitarian relief in intra-state conflicts and engaging in repatriation operations across the Balkans, Africa, Asia and Central America. The early twenty-first century has seen UNHCR take on ever greater responsibility for the victims of some major natural disasters and to assume formal responsibility for the protection of conflict induced IDPs. A few states, NGOs and refugee researchers have expressed concern that the expansion of the Office's work to include IDPs and victims of natural disasters dilutes UNHCR's core protection mandate and overstretches the limited resources it has available for refugee protection and assistance.

UNHCR does not have a fixed budget but is entirely dependent on voluntary contributions to carry out its work. This gives significant influence to a limited number of states in the global North who have traditionally funded the bulk of UNHCR’s operational budget. During recent years the numbers and needs of refugees have been growing considerably faster than the level of funding available globally for humanitarian aid. Thus currently more than half of the needs of refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR remain unaddressed further exacerbating their vulnerability. The Office needs significantly more secure funding to address the most basic needs of the people it is mandated to care for. At the same time, the Office works at the invitation of states to undertake activities on their territories and must therefore negotiate with a range of refugee hosting states, especially in the global South. UNHCR is consequently placed in the difficult position of trying to facilitate cooperation between donor states in the global North and states in the global South which host over 85 percent of the world’s refugees. At the same time, the Office works within changing global contexts, with changing dynamics of displacement, and with a range of partners, both within and outside the UN System. The humanitarian world is now characterized as a competitive marketplace which involves a vast range of actors each with their own mandate, institutional identity and drive to protect their own interests. These political and institutional constraints affect the functioning of the global refugee regime and the ability of UNHCR to fulfil its mandate.

The recent asylum crisis in Europe has confronted UNHCR with a nearly impossible task. As the crisis of asylum emerged, European states largely excluded the Office and increasingly devised their own responses to insulate themselves from the growing number of refugees seeking access to their territories. The lack of cooperation by states has significantly frustrated UNHCR’s activities and is one of its greatest current challenges.

Interner Link: This text is part of the policy brief on "Actors in National and International (Flight)Migration Regimes".

Dr. Gil Loescher is Visiting Professor at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford and author of UNHCR and World Politics: A Perilous Path, Oxford University Press and co-author of UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection, Routledge.