UN refugee agency launches online resource for decision-makers

15 June 2007

The United Nations refugee agency has announced the creation of an online “protection tool” for use by those who have to make decisions on the status of people who have fled their homes.

The United Nations refugee agency has announced the creation of an online “protection tool” for use by those who have to make decisions on the status of people who have fled their homes.

“We have a website now that can be considered to be one of the best in areas linked to human rights, linked to the need to make law accessible to the general public and to all relevant actors in this field,” High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said at the launch of Refworld online in Geneva on Thursday.

Refworld, long available on DVD and CD-Rom but only now on the web, contains a large collection of reports relating to situations in countries of origin, policy documents and positions, and documents relating to international and national legal frameworks, said UNHCR.

The free service provides information that UNHCR and its partners need to help them make a decision about whether to grant an asylum seeker refugee status based on a well-founded fear of persecution.

The result of not properly evaluating status “can be very, very dire,” Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller told representatives of non-governmental organizations, European Union officials and senior staff of UN agencies attending the launch. She called Refworld an “exceedingly important tool” for those making status decisions.

Refworld will be updated daily, UNHCR said.

 

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