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Asylum-seekers made 5100 RSD appeal applications to UNHCR offices in 2009

June 17, 2010

RSD applications to UNHCR offices in 2009

UNHCR reports that its offices received 5100 appeal and review requests in refugee status determination worldwide in 2009. The appeal case load was dwarfed by the 114,000 first instance applications received by UNHCR offices.

Critics have long argued that UNHCR needs to make its RSD appeal system more independent, though it is normally considered best practice to make high qualify first instance decision-making the priority. UNHCR has not objected in principle to improving its appeal system, but there is little consensus about how this should be done in the context of the UN system, where there is no independent judiciary.

The figure of 5100 cases may be helpful to develop more concrete ideas for a stronger RSD appeal mechanism within UNHCR, and indicates that the appeal mechanism need not be nearly as large as the first instance system.

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