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2003 Statistical Summary

June 20, 2005

At least 61,305 refugee claims were filed with UNHCR in 2003. This includes only countries where UNHCR is solely responsible for RSD. There are thousands of other cases in which UNHCR shares decision-making with a government.  Each claim can involve several family members, so the exact number of people affected is actually likely much larger.

UNHCR was the world’s largest individual RSD decision-maker in 2003, receiving more new applications for protection than the USA (61,000), United Kingdom (60,000), France (60,000) or South Africa (36,000).

UNHCR was solely responsible for RSD in at least 53 countries. Thirty-one of these countries were parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention. The actual figure may be higher because UNHCR’s Statistical Yearbook does not necessarily list every country where UNHCR conducts RSD.

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