UNV partnering with UNHCR

Since 1976, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to deliver vital humanitarian assistance. During 2012-2022, over 4,000 UN Volunteers served with UNHCR, contributing to the organization's mission to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.

How does the recruitment of UN Volunteers add value to UNHCR?

As an efficient, speedy and diverse talent solution for UN partners, UN Volunteers serve with UN entities to bring people to the forefront of development, peace and humanitarian issues. UNV manages a pool of over 350,000 talented and qualified UN Volunteers who can be deployed to bolster the delivery of UNHCR’s programmes and support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Refugee Status Determination operation in Turkey is large and complex, with asylum seekers from over 70 nationalities, and a considerable number  with vulnerabilities and special needs. UN Volunteers are an extremely valuable resource in our team, particularly considering that they bring such competencies and values as solidarity, compassion, professionalism and genuine commitment towards the principles of volunteerism. --Muhammad Harfoush, Associate Refugee Status Determination Officer with UNHCR in Turkey

UN Volunteers support UNHCR’s efforts to protect refugees and internally displaced people, including the ability to bring diaspora and stateless persons to volunteer in their countries of origin and their own communities. UN Volunteers commonly serve within camps in refugee status determination, registration, repatriation, resettlement, protection and family reunification where they often act as the operational link between refugee populations and UNHCR administration.

Common UN Volunteer assignments with UNHCR include experts in the fields of personal protection, community social services, public health, education, and logistics. Whether through international or national assignments, UN Volunteers promote participatory approaches to community-based relief, rehabilitation and recovery, delivering large returns in meeting the needs of people on the margins of peace and development.

Read more about UN Volunteers serving with UNHCR.

UN Volunteers serving with UNHCR

UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UNHCR’s mandate. Over 83 per cent of UN Volunteers came from the global South in 2022, offering an understanding of complex local development challenges and societal norms. UN Volunteers can strengthen the impact, sustainability and inclusivity of development initiatives, fostering participation and generating local ownership.

How can your office recruit UN Volunteers?

UNV offers different categories of UN Volunteers to suit the needs of UN partners, such as international and national specialists, youth or online volunteers. UN Volunteers can serve from two weeks to up to four years, depending on the category of volunteer. UNV manages all contractual, legal and management aspects to help minimize the administrative impacts for the host organization.

To partner with UNV and recruit UN Volunteers to support UNHCR’s programmes and operations, contact the UNV Field Representation or Regional Office for guidance and support.

For further information, refer to UNV’s website at: https://toolkit.unv.org.

Making a difference with UNHCR
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Solomon Oseghale Momoh is a UN Volunteer Protection Officer with UNHCR in Tanzania. His volunteer service includes analyzing gaps in refugee protection assessments.
Volunteer voices
Kateryna Vyshnevska, UN Volunteer Protection Assistant with UNHCR conducts border monitoring visits, focus group discussions, counseling, interpretation, and data collection.
Volunteer voices
  • SDG 10
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 17
Europe and the CIS
18 June 2024
Lynn Karanja (in blue jacket), Associate Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer, UNHCR Ethiopia engages with a refugee woman in Alemwach Refugee Site to identify her needs and link her with the appropriate services.
  • SDG 3
  • SDG 10
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  • SDG 17
East and Southern Africa
11 April 2024