Monday, April 28, 2014

Summary of UNHCR Protection Manual

UNHCR has recently launched its online Protection Manual. The Protection Manual is organized by theme/subject. Under each heading, the documents are arranged in reverse chronological order and are accessible through a hyperlink. At the end of each subject heading, relevant related sources are listed, containing older guidance and documents which serve as background reading. Brief structure of the manual is as follows:

A. International Protection -

1.Refugee law instruments:- It contains all International instruments as well as Regional instruments Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, America, Asia, Europe, Council of Europe, Europe and European Union) on refugee protection.
2.UNHCR mandate and supervisory responsibility
3.Executive Committee Conclusions
4.General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Resolutions
5.UNHCR and Humanitarian Reform

B. Refugee Protection –

1.Inclusion (Article 1A(2)):- It contains instruments pertaining to Inclusion – general, Persecution, Agents of Persecution, Outside country of origin, Persons fleeing armed conflict and other situations of violence, Religious-based refugee claims, Membership of a particular social group, Gender-related persecution, Victims of trafficking, Child asylum claims, Sexual orientation and gender identity, Claims related to military service – Conscientious objection / Draft evasion / Desertion, Internal flight / relocation alternative, Safe countries of origin / Safe third countries / Safe first country of asylum / 'Secondary' or 'onward' movement and Family Unity and Derivative Refugee Status.
2.Cessation (Article 1C)
3.Exclusion:- It includes instruments and documents on Article 1D – Palestinian refugees, Article 1E and Article 1F.
4.Cancellation and revocation of refugee status
5.Regional Refugee Definitions and Complementary forms of protection
6.Country-related guidance:- It encompasses documents relating to Country-of-origin information and guidance, standards and procedures, Eligibility guidelines, Protection considerations, non-return advisories and other country-specific guidance, 'Country-of-asylum' guidance and Other 'country-related' guidance.
7.Procedures relating to Procedural safeguards / Due process rights, Credibility assessment / Use of country of origin information / Use of expert advice and evidence / Burden and standard of proof and UNHCR mandate procedures.
8.Effective remedies and access to courts
10.Entry (article 31) / Freedom of movement (Article 26) / (alternatives to) detention
11.Obligations of refugees
12.Expulsion and non-refoulement (Articles 32 and 33) which includes instruments on Expulsion (Article 32), Non-refoulement (Article 33(1)), Exceptions (Article 33(2)) and Diplomatic assurances.
14.Rights of asylum-seekers and refugees, containing documents relating to Employment / Self-reliance (Articles 17-19), Housing, Land and Property (Article 21), Education (Article 22), Social welfare / Public relief (Article 23-24), Health and Other rights / Levels of attachment.
15.Identity papers / Convention Travel Documents (Articles 27-28)

C. Asylum and Migration - It encompasses instruments and documents pertaining to Asylum – general, Access to territory and procedures, Asylum / Migration nexus, Smuggling / Trafficking, Asylum-seekers at sea / Maritime issues, Persons not in need of international protection / Return of persons who have had their asylum claim rejected / Re-admission agreements, National security / International crimes / Terrorism and Extraterritorial processing.

D. Protection in Mass Influx Situations / Emergency Response - Under this head documents related to Protection in mass influx situations / Emergency response – general, Temporary protection, Civilian character of asylum / Physical security of refugees, Armed conflict / Relations with the military, Camps and Registration are enlisted.

E. International Solidarity / Burden-sharing / Responsibility-sharing / Comprehensive Approach

F. Specific Protection Priorities - Instruments under this head are directed towards specific protection people viz-Women of Concern, Children of Concern, Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities, National, Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex persons, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, HIV/AIDS, Age, Gender and Diversity, Protection of Civilians and Refugees in Urban Settings.

G. Durable Solutions - It includes documents on Durable Solutions – General (in relation to both refugees and IDPs), Return, Voluntary Repatriation and Reintegration, Resettlement, Local Integration in the Country of Asylum and Family Reunification.

H. Statelessness - It includes International legal instruments relating to nationality and statelessness, UNHCR's statelessness mandate, Guidance on specific aspects of UNHCR's mandate on identification, prevention, and reduction of statelessness and protection of stateless persons and Promotion of accession to the statelessness conventions

I. Internally Displaced Persons - It provides instruments on Normative framework on IDPs, Policy guidance regarding IDPs, Operational guidance regarding IDPs and Durable solutions for IDPs.

J. Global Protection Cluster - It includes documents on GPC guidance on IDPs, Protection Mainstreaming and Transformative Agenda

K. Displacement related to Climate Change or Natural Disasters

L. Human Rights

M. Other Operational Guidance - It contains instruments on Confidentiality and Data Protection, Commenting on National (Asylum) Legislation, Involvement with Courts, Relations with International Criminal Tribunals / ICC, Rule of Law, Communications and public information and Partnerships and high-level agreements

N. Miscellaneous

The Protection Manual is updated whenever a new protection policy or guidance document is published and can thus be relied upon to represent current state of UNHCR protection policies or guidance. The manual is extremely handy for being one-stop UNHCR's repository of protection policy and guidance documents.

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