UNHCR’s in-house think tank, the Policy Development and Evaluation Service, has published a critical new report about how – and to some extent, if and when – UNHCR should help states build their own refugee status determination (RSD) systems.
The report states that while RSD conducted by UNHCR generally yields important protection dividends, only states are in a position to ensure effective, comprehensive refugee protection and durable solutions. There has been steady progress in the establishment of national RSD systems, which has been a longstanding objective of UNHCR and the Executive Committee. Currently 117 Convention States out of 148 are operating a specific and regulated RSD procedure, which includes 41 new procedures since the year 2000.
The research has found that, while country offices are generally very active in supporting RSD transitions, their involvement needs to be more structurally organized, broader in scope, and better sustained in the first five to ten years of the new procedure.
The report can be found here.