UNHCR’s Regional Representation focuses on three key areas of the Office’s mandate: legal protection, resettlement, and public information.
The Legal Protection Unit liaises with governments in the region on refugee and asylum policy. It provides training for officials working with asylum-seekers and refugees, and advises authorities on best international standards in respect to legislation, policy and procedures. UNHCR monitors the application of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol in the region and intervenes in individual cases when they raise important issues of principle which set standards for the wider protection of refugees.
The Unit also works closely with the Australian and New Zealand immigration authorities on the composition of their quotas for resettled refugees and assists in the submission of individual cases. The unit seeks durable solutions for refugees who are under UNHCR’s mandate in other countries in the region.
The Pacific Unit provides advice and support to Pacific Island states on asylum, refugee protection and statelessness issues. Activities include capacity building, provision of technical support, review of national frameworks, and the development of networks, data collection and research.
The Public Information Unit raises awareness about UNHCR’s work and refugee issues amongst parliamentarians, schools, the media and the general public. It is the first point of contact for media in the region and can assist with inquiries on UNHCR’s activities world-wide. The Regional Office also has a wide range of educational resources and display materials for teachers, community groups and the general public.