IDLO and UNHCR have signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen their partnership in rule of law initiatives for refugees, internally displaced persons and stateless people.
The memorandum of understanding commits the two organizations to increased collaboration at the global, regional and national levels, using the rule of law to promote justice for populations of concern. It was signed on March 2, 2018 during a meeting in Geneva between IDLO Director-General Irene Khan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
“With violence, humanitarian crises and forced displacement ravaging every region of the world, I am pleased by the promise of championing rule of law through ever closer partnership with UNHCR”, said Ms. Khan. “This agreement paves the way for IDLO to contribute on an even larger scale in promoting access to justice for refugees and other vulnerable people, and to help to ensure that they are not left behind.”
According to UNHCR, there are 66 million forcibly displaced people around the world, including nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. More than 50% of the world’s displaced people are being hosted in Africa and the Middle East.
UNHCR has been mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants with developing a "global compact on refugees". During a thematic discussion in July 2017 to inform the development of the global compact's program of action, Ms. Khan called for "out-of-the-box partnerships" to address the world's refugee problems, noting the importance of creating linkages between humanitarian, peacebuilding and development initiatives.
IDLO is currently implementing a program in Somalia that aims to support the voluntary return, reintegration and protection of internally displaced persons and refugees into stable regions by improving the protection of displaced populations.