Special Contribution: The mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the protection of children

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been entrusted with the mandate to provide international protection to refugees and, together with Governments, to seek permanent solutions for persons within its core mandate. Paragraph 8(a) of the UNHCR Statute and the Preamble of the 1951 Refugee Convention209 confer responsibility upon UNHCR to supervise the application of all international conventions for the protection of refugees. The High Commissioner has a mandate with respect to refugees globally, regardless of their location, whether in emergency or protracted asylum-seeker and refugee situations, as well as in mixed movements involving asylum-seekers and refugees. The activities the High Commissioner is required to carry out for refugees are set out both in the Statute of UNHCR210 and in subsequent UN General Assembly and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolutions. The UN General Assembly and, to some extent, ECOSOC, have developed the mandate further to include returnees, stateless persons and, under certain conditions, internally displaced persons.

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