UNHCR's Regional Representation is based in Canberra, and is responsible for the promotion and protection of refugee rights in the region which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.
The 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 refugees and advises authorities on best international standards in respect to legislation, policy and procedures. UNHCR also monitors the application of the 1951 Refugee Convention 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 Resettlement section 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 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.