The “Essential Right” to Family Unity of Refugees and Others in Need of International Protection in the Context of Family Reunification

Many people fleeing persecution and conflict become separated from their families. They may have had to leave family members behind or to leave without being able to ensure or know if they are safe. They may become separated or lose track of each other during flight. Finding and reuniting with family members can be one of the most pressing concerns of asylum-seekers, refugees, and others in need of international protection. Family reunification in the country of asylum is often the only way to ensure respect for their right to family life and family unity.


The Right to Family Life and Family Unity of Refugees and Others in Need of International Protection and the Family Definition Applied

The separation of families when people flee persecution and conflict can have devastating consequences on family members’ wellbeing and their ability to rebuild their lives. At the moment of flight, they may be forced to leave without being able to ensure or know if their families are safe. Once in safety, refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection are often unaware of the whereabouts of their family. Others have to make difficult decisions about leaving their family behind to find safety in another country. The right to family life and family unity, as set out in international and regional law and outlined in this research paper, applies to all, including refugees. It applies throughout displacement, including at the stage of admission, in reception, in detention, during the refugee status determination process, where expulsion may be threatened, and in the context of durable solutions.


Turkmenistan: Activists threatened – Space for freedom of expression shrinks

Two outspoken women activists were threatened and harassed in recent days in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Partnership for Human Rights, and the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights said today. Turkmenistan’s international partners should publicly call on the Turkmenistani government to immediately end the abuses against activists and ensure that they are able to speak out without fear of retaliation.


Access to justice for migrant workers in South-East Asia.

(28/07(2017). (Report from International Labour Organization (ILO)). Labour migration has been an important factor supporting the growth and development of the South-East Asian region, filling labour shortages in countries of destination and providing much needed employment opportunities for workers in countries of origin. However, in spite of the vital role women and men migrant workers play in increasing the region’s labour market efficiency, they are often subjected to abuses during recruitment and employment and are unable to make use of the social protection benefits to which they are entitled. 

The Sustainable Development Goals and Addressing Statelessness.

This document aims to inform UNHCR staff about the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to UNHCR’s statelessness mandate and the #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness in 10 Years. It provides reliminary guidance on how UNHCR can contribute to the successful implementation of the SDGs, including through national planning processes, which in turn can help to achieve the goals of the #IBelong Campaign. The information in this document applies to refugees who are also stateless.