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Disseminating information to asylum-seekers

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.

UNHCR standards require field offices receiving refugee status applications to inform asylum-seekers “as early as possible and before the RSD interview” of the following (section 3.1.3):

  • The criteria for refugee status and family unity (derivative) status
  • Rights and responsibilities of asylum-seekers and refugees, including limits on durable solutions and the consequences of recognition, and relevant information about host country laws
  • Application procedures, including appeal procedures and references to assistance that may be available at different stages, and supporting documents that may be required
  • Procedures for registering family members and the rights of accompanying family members to file their own refugee applications
  • UNHCR confidentiality rules
  • The right to request interviews be conducted by staff member of the same gender as the applicant
  • Information about complaint procedures

UNHCR standards also require that counseling about the procedures be available on a group or individual basis (section 3.1.4)

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