On 14. December 1950, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established by the United Nations General Assembly. Its initial aim was to help millions of Europeans who had been forced to flee or had lost their homes during World War II.
Today, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is still leading international action to protect and assist people, who are forced to flee their homes because of conflict, violence, persecution or human rights violations.
UNHCR works tirelessly around the world with a workforce of almost 15,000 people comprising about 11,000 UNHCR staff and 4,000 affiliate personnel across 130 countries in order to help millions of people of concern. 87 percent of the staff is based in the field i.e. outside its Headquarters in Europe.
UNHCR delivers life-saving support like shelter, food and water in emergencies around the world. We help safeguard fundamental human rights, including access to territory and the right to seek asylum. We develop solutions that ensure that people have a safe place to call home in order for them to build a better future. Furthermore, UNHCR works to eliminate statelessness.
UNHCR in UN City in Copenhagen
UN City in Copenhagen hosts several of UNHCR’s global Headquarter’s functions with almost 200 staff currently working in the building.
Functions located in UN City include the Private Sector Partnerships Service, which is leading UNHCR’s growing global collaboration with the private sector and our engagement with the public. Private sector engagement provides UNHCR with invaluable financial support, strong advocacy in support of refugees, as well as innovation and technical expertise that improves our operational capacity. Since 2016, a small team focusing specifically on Private Sector Engagement in Denmark has been added to the global team in UN City.
Other critical services located in UN City include Global Digital Engagement and Strategic Communications focusing on digital communication and on brand management, communications monitoring, analysis and reporting.
The Field Information Coordination Support Section supports operational data management systems necessary for the planning, management and delivery of UNHCR’s programmes. It issues the annual statistics on refugees and other forcibly displaced persons including their countries of origin and current host countries. The UN City in Copenhagen is also home for innovative new solutions and operational capacities in the areas of registration, identity and case management in UNHCR. Registration and Identity Management are essential steps in order to protect, assist and find solutions for people who have been forced to flee their homes.
Access to quality education is a human right for every child and the best investment into the future of a refugee child. The Education Unit, based in UN City, supports country operations by providing tools and directions to increase access to education for refugees.
UNHCR’s Regional Representation for Northern Europe covers Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Regional Representation is located in Stockholm, but is present in UN City in Copenhagen through a Liaison Office, which covers legal and communication matters relating to Denmark. Another Liaison Office in the region is located in Vilnius, Lithuania.