Sri Lanka


Operation: Opération: Sri Lanka



Latest update of camps and office locations: October 2017. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2018 planning figures
100% of households will have their basic and domestic items needs met
100% of persons of concern identified for resettlement departed
100% of return has been voluntary, and carried out in safety and dignity
99% of primary school aged children will  be enrolled in primary education
2016 end-year results
4,000 acres of land in High Security Zones were released for returning IDPS, including 749 acres in Jaffna in 2016 alone, with more than 3,000 families in the process of returning
850 Sri Lankan refugees voluntarily repatriated from India through UNHCR’s programme, and additional 49 refugees, known to UNHCR, returned spontaneously
460 individuals departed for resettlement, surpassing the number in 2015

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2016 54,409
2015 55,290
2014 33,170


[["Refugees",604],["Asylum-seekers",576],["IDPs",39730],["Returned IDPs",12445],["Returned refugees",1054]]
Loading ...

Sri Lanka

< Back
2016 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[10.25360214,8.99170517,7.662461469,6.38291893,5.61943885,5.1418295],"expenditure":[6.5175268,5.90226048,5.12725408,3.41199388,null,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[7.68964019,7.65152409,6.274272789,5.54807908,5.55927245,5.03377608],"p2":[0.11339244,0.07574243,0.11979917,0.04578361,0.0601664,0.10805342],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[2.45056951,1.26443865,1.26838951,0.78905624,null,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[5.49141794,4.87465761,3.87863457,2.79903947,null,null],"p2":[0.07555571,0.0605343,0.04603959,0.0371832,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[0.95055315,0.96706857,1.20257992,0.57577121,null,null]}
Loading ...

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Year-end Overview

Plan Overview

Operational environment

Sri Lanka has yet to ratify the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. There is no national legal framework or official policy on refugees and asylum-seekers. While UNHCR’s processing of asylum claims is tolerated under agreement with the Government, asylum-seekers and refugees are still perceived as residing illegally in the country.
While there is more room for dialogue on human rights issues following the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015, issues relating to asylum are still viewed with a degree of suspicion and reluctance.
The change in the United States of America’s resettlement policy in 2017 is expected to have an adverse impact on the number of submissions and resettlement departures in 2018 and will result in refugees’ longer stay in Sri Lanka.
UNHCR will continue to strengthen its cooperation and coordination with key government stakeholders and advocate for the reinstatement of a regular stakeholders meeting (i.e. the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Immigration and Emigration, State Intelligence Services and the Police). These meetings previously provided space for all parties to raise issues and find constructive solutions. UNHCR will seek to develop the capacity of government stakeholders through trainings with a view to increase understanding of refugee protection and associated issues.

Key priorities

 UNHCR’s strategy will focus on enhancing asylum space; advocating for Government to assume responsibility for refugee management and protection; and securing durable solutions.
UNHCR’s refugee assistance programme will be limited with increasing numbers of refugees in the country, requiring stronger outreach to other operational partners to assist refugees as envisaged under the community outreach strategy. UNHCR will continue to provide limited assistance to refugees by way of a modest monthly allowance, and support for refugee children to access primary education. Secondary school children will continue to receive English language training and adult refugees will have access to English language, IT and some life skill classes. Strategic advocacy on the right to work and access to government schools for asylum-seeker and refugee children will continue.
The number of Sri Lankan refugees repatriating will continue to grow with UNHCR providing reintegration assistance and advocating for the full inclusion of returnees within government support programmes in accordance with the national policy on durable solutions to conflict-affected displacement.