instead tries to stay strictly within the earmarked territory of its intervention, that position also may cause allegations of relapse from some other circles. Controversy will follow every footstep of such an organization, as it is very difficult to decide where to draw the lines. This is the case with the activities of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The agency has been intervening in many external and internal conflict situations and thereby finding itself at the receiving end of a lot of criticism. On one side, UNHCR has been accused of failing to properly support the refugees and on the other hand, the organization has been criticized for not doing its maximum in helping internally displaced persons. But the problem with these two closely related aspects of refugee issue is that when one aspect is dealt with, that can go against the solution derived for the second aspect.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was formed basically for the “protection and assistance” of international refugees (Beigbeder, 1991, pp.27). UNHCR has an internationally accepted “legal mandate to protect and assist” the refugees (Korn, 1999, pp.36). But “for the internally displaced, it has nothing of the kind” (Korn, 1999, pp.36). Thus, legally, for UNHCR to interfere in an issue causing the persecution of a particular group of people, that group has to be living outside its country of origin. This is the primary meaning of the word, ‘refugee’.
Given this socio-legal ambience, the agency was expected to play within its demarcated area of action which has been not the case in many instances. The reason behind is that, as the nature of conflicts changed with time, the world is witnessing the problem of internally displaced persons getting more and more severe, even more serious than refugees. And there is lot of pressure on UNHCR to help this category as well. UNHCR has been redefining its mandate in tune with this changing scenario. Though ...
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