Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  • Refoulement

    The removal of a person to a territory where he/she would be at risk of being persecuted, or being moved to another territory where he/she would face persecution. Under international refugee law and customary international law, refoulement is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

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  • Refugee

    A refugee is any person who, “…owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his [or her] nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him [or her]self of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his [or her] former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
    Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention or
    "who is outside his/her country of origin or habitual residence and is unable to return there because of serious and indiscriminate threats to life, physical integrity or freedom resulting from generalized violence or events seriously disturbing public order." OAU Convention and Cartagena Declarationblic order. (OAU Convention and Cartagena Declaration)

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  • Refugee coordination model

    In line with the High Commissioner’s mandate, it outlines UNHCR’s role and responsibilities and re-articulates and standardizes UNHCR’s responsibility to lead and coordinate international actions relating to refugees with all partners engaged in the response through an inter-agency platform and under the overall leadership of the host government.

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  • Refugee status determination (RSD)

    Legal and administrative procedures undertaken by States and/or UNHCR to determine whether an individual should be recognized as a refugee in accordance with national and international law.

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  • Refugee-like situation

    The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained. 

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  • Registration

    Registration can be carried out in different manners, depending on the operational circumstances and data requirements. Level-1 Registration, often referred to as “household registration”, gathers only elementary information from persons of concern for the purpose of establishing a basic distribution system or to provide demographic estimates. In Level-2 Registration, limited personal data is collected from each individual, for basic planning, monitoring and protection activities. Level-3 Registration represents the most comprehensive recording of detailed personal data of persons of concern, which is required for individual case management and delivery of durable solutions.

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  • Reintegration

    A process which enables returnees to regain their physical, social, legal and material security needed to maintain life, livelihood and dignity and which eventually leads to the disappearance of any distinction or discrimination vis-à-vis their compatriots. 

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  • Resettlement

    The transfer of refugees from the country in which they have sought asylum to another State that has agreed to admit them. The refugees will usually be granted asylum or some other form of long-term resident rights and, in many cases, will have the opportunity to become naturalized citizens. For this reason, resettlement is a durable solution as well as a tool for the protection of refugees. It is also a practical example of international burden-and responsibility-sharing. 

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  • Resettlement Core Group

    Core and Contact Groups are established through the agreement of resettlement States and UNHCR based on a joint assessment of the need for a coordinated, multi‑annual approach to resettlement. In particular, Core Groups aim to facilitate and improve information sharing initiatives, enhance dialogue among stakeholders, increase predictability to the planning of resettlement activities in relation to the specific refugee situation, including  the number of resettlement places offered and the number of countries involved.

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  • Results-based management (RBM)

    A management philosophy and approach that emphasizes the achievement of results as the essential task of management.

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  • Returnee

    A person who was of concern to UNHCR when outside his/her country of origin and who remains so, for a limited period (usually two years), after returning to the country of origin . The term also applies to internally displaced persons who return to their previous place of residence.

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  • Rights Groups (RBM term)

    Thematic groupings of objectives with a similar theme used for planning and budgeting. There are nine rights groups in UNHCR’s results framework for different areas of protection, assistance, external relations and operations support. For example, the objectives for shelter, water and sanitation services are all grouped under the rights group “basic needs and essential services”.

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