UNHCR is involved in capacity building activities, and promoting refugee law and principles in the Pacific region. UNHCR also has a default mandate responsibility to provide protection and assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in the absence of a State RSD system.
Of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs), Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are Contracting States to the 1951 Convention. Fiji and Vanuatu are the only PICs that have enacted refugee-specific national legislation and accompanying regulations.
In PICs without national systems to carry out refugee status determination, UNHCR assesses claims for refugee status. In others, including Fiji and Vanuatu, UNHCR provides assistance to national officials through joint RSD procedures. In recognition of the size of Pacific Island governments and limited resources to implement comprehensive systems for refugee protection, UNHCR has developed a regional 10-Point Plan of Action to ensure those people in need of international protection are identified in broader migration management.
UNHCR provides practical advice and technical support to Pacific Island Countries and regional fora to encourage accession to the 1951 Convention, the implementation of the humanitarian principles of the Convention, and improved legal frameworks and capacity for dealing with refugees and asylum-seekers in the broader context of migration management.
UNHCR has also established partnerships with key actors in the Pacific to facilitate local capacity building, particularly in responses to complex emergencies and disaster risk management to deepen collective understanding and capacity to respond to the impact of climate and other environment-related changes on vulnerable Pacific Island Countries.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information presented in this website is general in nature and may not be applicable in particular circumstances. We advise you to contact UNHCR’s Regional Office in Canberra for further advice and/or assistance regarding specific issues or needs you may have.