Sri Lanka - 2021 Plan Summary


Operational environment 

UNHCR will continue to work closely with Government counterparts to ensure asylum-seekers and refugees are protected and assisted until their claims are determined and solutions are found for them in third countries. Close technical coordination will also continue, though space for advocacy on refugee issues is limited and refugees face challenges to access certain rights, such as to work.
UNHCR will continue to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in the region and seek to build partnerships for sustainable reintegration in areas of return.
The Government is expected to continue to provide asylum-seekers and refugees with access to free health care at Government medical facilities, while UNHCR will continue to ensure other basic needs for people of concern are met. 

Key priorities

In 2021, UNHCR will focus on:

  • Maintaining protection space for asylum-seekers and refugees by strengthening coordination with relevant Government and civil society stakeholders, while pursuing solutions for refugees and refugee returnees.
  • Advocating people of concern’s access to public schools and work, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Partnerships with UN agencies, NGOs and faith-based groups will remain pillars of UNHCR’s community-based work. 
  • Continuing to advocate solutions for Sri Lankan refugees in the region, with a focus on reintegration support and monitoring of returning refugees. 
  • Building the Government’s ownership of asylum by providing technical support, strategic coordination, and capacity building.
  • Advocating accession to the statelessness conventions.