Visited Count : 2963
Publish Date : 7/24/2014
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950.
According to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.
UNHCR first opened an office in Iran in 1984 and expanded its presence with the massive influx of Iraqi refugees following the Gulf War in 1991 and the start of Afghans’ mass return movement to Afghanistan in 1992.
Today UNHCR has its Central office representation in Tehran, plus three sub offices in Mashhad, Kerman and Ahwaz.
UNHCR’s government counterpart is the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) of the Ministry of Interior. In addition, UNHCR also collaborates with other Government Ministries and Organizations and a number of local and international NGOs to ensure that all the registered refugees are aware of and have access to their rights under the rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to host one of the largest protracted refugee populations of the world and has had two major refugee caseloads, Iraqis and Afghans. Over 97% of these caseloads reside in the urban settings and less than 3% reside in settlements. The Government of Iran has provided services related to education, health and livelihood to refugees with minimal financial aid from the international community.