What is UNHCR ?
For almost 70 years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – today a global organization operating in over 130 countries with more than 12,000 staff – has been providing protection and assistance to the world’s refugees. UNHCR’s primary purpose at UNHCR is to safeguard the rights and well-being of people who have been forced to flee. Together with partners and communities, we work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another country. We also strive to secure lasting solutions.
Since its foundation in 1950, UNHCR has helped millions of people to restart their lives. They include refugees, returnees, stateless people, the internally displaced and asylum-seekers. Our protection, shelter, health and education has been crucial, healing broken pasts and building brighter futures.
We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 71 million people around the world have been uprooted by conflict, human rights violations and persecution. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18, and over 10 million stateless people who have no access to a nationality and are often deprived of their basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. In a world where over 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute, our work at UNHCR is more important than ever before.
Message from UNHCR Tokyo Office
For many years, Japan has played a lead role in supporting humanitarian action throughout the world. UNHCR values its deep and longstanding cooperation with Japan in the international displacement arena. The world is facing unprecedented levels of displacement with almost 71 million people forced to flee their homes. As old conflicts continue to rage on and even intensify and new crises erupt, resources to cope with humanitarian needs are dwindling. In recent years, we have seen fresh displacement in and from countries like Myanmar, Venezuela, Yemen, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. In the absence of solutions, refugees and IDPs from or in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan or Somalia have little hope to return home any time soon.
Japan’s reliable financial support has helped and continues to enable UNHCR and its partners to operate in many situations. The Government of Japan’s commitment to the international community is further strengthened by its active support of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants in 2016 and the Global Compacts for Refugees adopted in 2018. As an active Member State of UNHCR’s Executive Committee, Japan has been particularly promoting the humanitarian-peace-development nexus and the concept of human security to help improve peoples’ lives.
UNHCR’s presence in Tokyo will aim at further strengthening the relationship with Japan, raise even more awareness about the global refugee cause and UNHCR’s work among the general public, foster diverse partnerships – including with civil society, academia and the private corporate sector – in support of our work.
Although Japan may be geographically far from the world’s crises, there are people who come all the way to seek safety. Japan is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has put in place procedures which have the potential to be developed into a comprehensive asylum system. UNHCR will continue to work with the authorities towards such a system, also to support Japan’s refugee resettlement programme and alternative interim solutions including higher education opportunities for refugees in Japan.
I am taking up my assignment at a time when Japan and the world face a common threat. The COVID-19 pandemic is also an unprecedented challenge to ensure protection, assistance and delivery of essential services to people of concern to UNHCR around the world, including refugees, stateless, IDPs and others. UNHCR remains committed to continuing its operations for the people we serve, with the unfailing support from many governments. In this difficult time, we stand in solidarity with the Government and People of Japan!
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Japan
Wesley Center, 6-10-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062, Japan
Tel：03-3499-2011 ／ Fax：03-3499-2272
http://www.unhcr.org/jp/(Official website UNHCR Japan)
https://www.facebook.com/unhcrorjp(Official Facebook UNHCR Japan)
https://twitter.com/UNHCR_Tokyo(Official Twitter UNHCR Japan)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiG4dK6TaS_5-nao6YCd7ZA(Official YouTube Account UNHCR Japan)
http://www.unhcr.org(Official Website, HQ)
http://www.facebook.com/UNHCR(Official Facebook, HQ)