How does the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) collect and report refugee statistics?
Last Updated: Jul 27, 2022     Views: 1684

The collection and the dissemination of refugee statistics are mandated by both the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Statute of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.

Article 35 of the 1951 Convention mandates that contracting states report to the United Nations statistical information related to condition of refugees and the national laws relating to refugees. Likewise, the Statute of the Office of the High Commission, in paragraph 8(f), mandates the UNHCR to obtain from governments "information containing the number and conditions of refugees in their territories and the laws and regulations concerning them." 

As a result, much of the statistical reporting from UNHCR comes from the receiving countries.

Additionally, the UNHCR's Field Information and Coordination Support Section collects statistics and operational data to monitor trends in forced displacement in order for the UNHCR to fulfill its mandate. It collects data from its country offices, and from national authorities and international organizations. It also works with institutions, researchers and experts in the field.

You can find UNHCR statistics from the following sources:

  • UNHCR Population Statistics Database
    • Standardized statistical database allowing for comparisons across time periods and demographics and persons of concern
  • UNHCR Statistical Yearbook
    • Published and available online since 2001
  • UNHCR Statistics and Operational Data
    • Data collected and disseminated by the UNHCR's Field Information and Coordination Support Section

Jul 27, 2022     1684


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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