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The Role, Rights and Responsibilities of UNHCR in Situations of Acute Crisis

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Chapter Summary

UNHCR was established under Article 22 of the United Nations Charter as a subsidiary organ by the General Assembly. UNHCR practice with respect to returnees goes much further than mere protection. The General Assembly has mandated the High Commissioner to work with non-refugees under the umbrella of his 'good offices' and even to work in-country with internally displaced persons. Before looking at the various sources of law applicable to situations of acute crisis, one other aspect of UNHCR's in-country work needs to be noted. The traditional view of the work of UNHCR is protecting people across a border. Situations of acute crisis have an additional international legal framework to the one specific to refugees. International human rights law applies at all times to anyone within the jurisdiction of the State, subject only to legitimate derogations properly declared.

Keywords: acute crisis; International human rights law; UNHCR; united nations charter



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