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Complaint procedures

UNHCR’s Procedural Standards for RSD under UNHCR’s Mandate

Quick reference guide

The following is a RSDWatch summary and analysis of UNHCR’s Procedural Standards for Refugee Status Determination under UNHCR’s Mandate, published by UNHCR in September 2005.  All references (i.e. section x.x) are to these Standards, unless otherwise noted.

Complaints procedures

UNHCR policy requires all of its RSD offices to establish complaints procedures separate from appeals and other routine communications, and to inform applicants early in the RSD process how to file a complaint.  (section 2.6)

UNHCR’s RSD standards provide the following cautionary note regarding complaints:

Applicants should be advised that reporting through complaints procedures will not in any way prejudice or positively influence the consideration of their refugee claim or other decisions regarding assistance or services to which the complainant would otherwise be entitled. At the same time, the seriousness of the complaint procedures should be emphasized and Applicants should be advised that unfounded or malicious accusations against UNHCR staff will be reported to UNHCR Headquarters, and may result in prosecution in the host country.

The standards also state that UNHCR will normally not be able to follow up anonymous complaints.

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