Global Appeal 2024

Protection policy and law

Outcome Area 3

Two women in an office
A Ukrainian refugee is assisted by a staff member at the Blue Dot in Varna, Bulgaria, who shares information about the services available to her. Ukrainian refugees can access psychosocial support, health care referrals and other support from the Blue Dot, one of five in Bulgaria.
© UNHCR/Dobrin Kashavelov
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Global needs in 2024

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol provide the foundation for international protection and solutions and the access to basic services and rights. 149 of the 193 UN Member States are party to the Convention, the Protocol, or both. But refugees often face legal or practical obstacles, and 65 States maintain reservations, mostly limiting the rights of refugees in areas such as work and freedom of movement. Similar challenges arise in countries not party to the conventions, often leaving people seeking safety without a legal basis for accessing their rights.

Ensuring the right to a nationality depends on an appropriate legal framework and its effective implementation. The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness are the cornerstones of the international legal framework on the protection of stateless people and the right to a nationality. In 2023, 97 countries are party to the 1954 Convention and 79 are party to the 1961 Convention. Many countries have improved their legislation to prevent statelessness and protect stateless people, and some have taken significant steps to grant nationality to stateless people, but further efforts are needed to prevent statelessness and find solutions. Tackling statelessness is one of UNHCR’s areas of focus for the coming years.

It is essential that States sign up to international legal instruments and implement inclusive policies that contribute to the protection and solutions of displaced and stateless populations. Amid complex humanitarian crises, increased population movements and restrictive policies and practices, UNHCR is perennially underfunded, undermining its ability to perform its mandated responsibility. As States neighbouring countries in crisis shoulder the greatest burden in terms of supporting displaced people, it is essential that other States show solidarity by taking on their own share of the responsibility and ensuring that people can exercise their rights and find durable solutions to their situations of displacement or statelessness.

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Global needs for Protection policy and law in 2024

$308 million

-2% vs 2023 current budget

Regional needs 

Global needs OA3

Top ten operational budgets for Protection Policy and Law (USD millions)  

Top ten OA3
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How UNHCR will make a difference

In 2022, the legal and policy framework for forcibly displaced and stateless people was not broadly aligned with international standards in more than 40% of countries where UNHCR operations reported data. In 2024, UNHCR will be monitoring the legal and policy frameworks of 165 countries, and in many instances it will be actively advocating for a strengthening of those frameworks.

UNHCR will use a variety of legal, policy and diplomatic tools to strengthen laws and policies. It will press for effective implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees across all legal and policy areas, including access to territory, respect for the principles of non-refoulement and responsibility-sharing and access to socio-economic rights. UNHCR will advocate for tremoval of gender discriminatory provisions and introduction of safeguards to prevent statelessness in nationality laws, and for improved legal and policy frameworks to grant nationality to stateless persons.

UNHCR will develop a global online platform to map and analyse laws and policies that drive access to rights for refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced and stateless persons.

UNHCR will advise and assist States on the interpretation and application of international instruments relevant to the protection of refugees, stateless persons and internally displaced persons and prevention of statelessness. This is done in all parts of the world and has in the past resulted in progressive case law and the adoption of strong and inclusive legislation. UNHCR will provide legal interpretative guidance on international normative standards and engage with legislative, policy and judicial actors and processes. Maintaining dialogue with governments at different levels, and with national, regional and UN human rights institutions, civil society, academia, multilateral and bilateral development partners, UN country teams and other partners, on law and policy frameworks advances understanding of legal standards and ensures access to rights and solutions.


Core indicators


Extent national legal framework is in line with the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol


Extent national legal framework is in line with the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

A sample of core outcome indicators 

3.1 Extent national legal framework is in line with the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol

Country Population Type Baseline Target 2023 Target 2024
Colombia Refugees and Asylum-seekers Broadly aligned Broadly aligned Broadly aligned
Ethiopia Refugees and Asylum-seekers Progressing towards alignment Progressing towards alignment Broadly aligned
Mexico Refugees and Asylum-seekers Broadly aligned Broadly aligned Broadly aligned
South Sudan Refugees and Asylum-seekers Progressing towards alignment Progressing towards alignment Progressing towards alignment