The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

About UNHCR:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, takes the lead in protecting people forced to flee wars and persecution around the world, providing life-saving aid including shelter, food and water to ensure their basic safety, rights and dignity. With 16,803 women and men working in over 134 countries, we use our expertise to protect and care for 70.8 million worldwide.

Our dedicated and professional staff work around the clock in roles including legal protection, community services, public affairs, health and more. Despite the challenges they can face, our staff are proud to work for UNHCR and determined to make a positive impact. #WithRefugees

Working together to build better futures for people forced to flee 

Working together to build better futures for people forced to flee 

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to protecting and assisting refugees, internally displaced and stateless people. We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find refuge after fleeing violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.

As the lead agency for international protection of refugees, we deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water; help safeguard fundamental human rights; and develop solutions that ensure people to have a safe place to call home where they can lead productive lives. We also work to end statelessness for millions of people worldwide without a nationality.

We commit ourselves to five core directions:

  1. Protecting the people we serve across the whole spectrum of forced displacement, including asylum-seekers, refugees, internally displaced people and stateless people.
  2. Responding to emergencies in a rapid and effective way, ensuring effective preparedness, maintaining the capability to deliver assistance in emergencies and beyond.
  3. Including refugees, internally displaced and stateless people in national services and economies through the engagement of development actors;
  4. Empowering the people UNHCR serves by recognizing them as agents with the potential to determine and build their own future and contribute to the development of the communities where they live.
  5. Solving problems of stateliness and refugee issues in partnership with political, security and human rights actors.

Why a career with UNHCR?

Our dedicated staff work to protect and assist people fleeing conflict and persecution at a time when global forced displacement is at a record high. Our colleagues bring a wide range of specialized skills, including expertise in legal protection, administration, community services, public affairs, health and other disciplines. Our workforce encompasses 16,765 staff members and affiliate personnel working in 134 countries to ensure that UNHCR keeps delivering on its mandate.

UNHCR offers a variety of short-term and long-term contracts through which you can make a meaningful difference in refugees’ lives. If you are committed to protecting people’s rights and well-being and would go anywhere you are needed to get the job done, please join our organization and support our mandate to serve people who have been forced to flee.

What we offer

UNHCR’s greatest asset is its workforce. We bring together talented, compassionate individuals determined to use their skills and integrity to make a positive impact in the lives of people fleeing conflict and persecution. Joining UNHCR means living, sharing and promoting the four guiding principles of humanitarianism – humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence – as well as UNHCR’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and gender-parity, which are exemplified in the various nationalities, cultures and languages of our personnel.

UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. We welcome colleagues and partners without distinction on the grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. The rights, needs and aspirations of people forced to flee are at the heart of everything we do.

We work with skilled professionals who

  • are committed to putting people first and making a real difference in people’s lives
  • are working together with refugees to develop solutions to build a better future
  • can maximize their potential to grow both professionally and personally
  • are willing to go anywhere we are needed to get the job done
  • are mandated to deliver the best possible outcome in an environment where staff members are empowered
  • participate in meaningful and rewarding assignments that support human resilience
  • use their skills to find innovative, long-lasting solutions that better support the people we serve

Who we are looking for

We operate in challenging, volatile and even dangerous contexts, assisting and protecting people making extraordinary efforts to survive. As a front-line organization at the ready in emergencies, we need colleagues who:

  • are willing to serve in hardship locations and emergency operations
  • are passionate about our mission and inspire others with their dedication and work ethic
  • are professionals with high integrity who can respond to the needs of people forced to flee across the globe in a responsible and reliable manner
  • thrive in a diverse and multicultural work environment
  • bring innovative ideas, skills and solutions to help save lives and build a better future for people forced to flee
  • are willing to go the extra mile to protect people’s rights while facing challenges with courage and a can-do attitude
  • are results-oriented, flexible and determined to make a difference

What we require

UNHCR seeks talent in a variety of areas, including finance, human resources, communications, social media, information and communication technology, camp coordination and camp management, shelter, livelihoods, refugee protection and registration, supply, water, sanitation and hygiene, field safety, and project control.

To complement the above skills and values, as a successful candidate you also need to have:

  • At least an undergraduate degree from a UNESCO-accredited institution
  • Relevant work experience and skills
  • Proficiency in English and, depending on the position, working knowledge of another UN language may be required

Interested in joining UNHCR?

With so many great roles and such an important job to do, the UNHCR can offer a career that will truly make a difference.

Around the World in Many Ways

UNHCR staff operate in some 138 countries around the world, from major capitals to remote, difficult locations where our field staff are directly helping the most vulnerable victims of displacement. We maintain offices in donor countries worldwide and wherever refugees are arriving, working closely with governments to ensure the 1951 Refugee Convention is honoured.

Staff at the Geneva headquarters now number just over 9 per cent of our total, a declining portion as UNHCR moves to decentralize and get closer to the people we assist. Geneva, along with our Global Service Centre in Budapest, Hungary, provides support for the rest of UNHCR, including key administrative functions. But about 90% of staff are in the field.

Also, see:

Hana, UNHCR’s protection officer, helps refugees heading for the bus that will transport them to Opatovac transit centre. ; Large groups of refugees arrive in Croatia by crossing the border near Bapska before heading toward Opatovac transit centre and continuing their journey to Hungary.

Company Statistics


Geneva, Switzerland

Number of employees


Date established