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The Host State

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Chapter Summary

Whether because of a lack of capacity and resources or a lack of political will from the host state, UNHCR has assumed progressively more state-like functions with regard to refugee protection. This chapter explores UNHCR's human rights obligations and the legal basis of UNHCR's presence in the territory of states. It specifically shows how providing physical protection and maintaining the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps falls squarely within UNHCR's obligation to ensure the basic rights of refugees, which is implicit in UNHCR's protection mandate. UNHCR holds an affirmative duty to act and intervene to secure the basic human rights of refugees and others of concern. The chapter also highlights the qualifications for UNHCR's presence in the territory of states with the view of exploring whether these qualifications have the potential of ascribing to UNHCR additional human rights obligations.

Keywords:civilian character; host states; human rights obligations; humanitarian character; refugees; United Nations



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