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The UNHCR and World PoliticsA Perilous Path$
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Gil Loescher

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199246912.001.0001

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International Recognition of Refugees

International Recognition of Refugees

(p.21) 2 International Recognition of Refugees
The UNHCR and World Politics

Gil Loescher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Beginning with the establishment by the League of Nations of the first High Commissioner for Refugees in 1921, the scope and functions of assistance programmes for refugees gradually expanded, as efforts were made to regularize the status and control of stateless and denationalized people. During and after World War II, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) and the International Refugee Organization (IRO) further expanded the international organizational framework for refugees. Since 1951, an international refugee regime—composed of UNHCR and a network of other international agencies, national governments, and voluntary or non‐governmental organizations—has developed a response strategy that permits some refugees to remain in their countries of first asylum, enables some to resettle in third countries and arranges for still others to be repatriated to their countries of origin.

Keywords:   countries of first asylum, High Commissioner for Refugees, international refugee organization, international refugee regime, League of Nations, non‐governmental organizations, repatriation, resettlement, UNHCR, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency

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