What is UNHCR’s role in the Pacific?
In some States, UNHCR acts in a supervisory capacity, while in others it has an operational role. This is determined by the situation in the individual State. Of the 14 Pacific Island Countries* covered by UNHCR’s Regional Representation in Canberra, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are Contracting States to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Vanuatu have enacted refugee-specific national legislation and accompanying regulations.
People claiming asylum in a Pacific Island Country are subject to the national laws and procedures established in that particular country.
In Pacific Island Countries without national systems to carry out refugee status determination, UNHCR may assist to assess claims for refugee status.
In other countries, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, UNHCR provides assistance to national officials to undertake refugee status determination procedures.
*The 14 Pacific Island countries are Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra
UNHCR’s Regional Representation is based in Canberra, and is responsible for the promotion and protection of refugee rights in the region which includes Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Tel: (61) 2 6281 9100
Mail: 14 Kendall Lane, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia
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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information presented in this website is general in nature and may not be applicable in particular circumstances. We advise you to contact UNHCR’s Regional Representation in Canberra for further advice and/or assistance regarding specific issues or needs you may have.