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UNHCR Field Fonds

© UNHCR / M. H. Verney

UNHCR field operations are the cornerstone of the organization's work to promote international refugee agreements, monitor compliance and offer protection to refugees. Field Offices, whether in capital cities or located in border areas or remote camps, maintain and archive all paper and electronic files identified as permanent records, including correspondence relating to protection, status determination, resettlement and voluntary repatriation.

Protection and resettlement files include both individual case files and subject files. Subject files contain country information, policy documents and procedural guidelines. As individual case files consist of information pertaining to a particular refugee or asylum seeker, they are not open for research. An individual case file was created for only a small number of the many millions of people of concern to UNHCR.

In order to identify non-permanent records for destruction by the creating office, UNHCR Archives has distributed Field Guides for records management. All potentially permanent records are shipped to UNHCR Archives for final review in Geneva when they are no longer needed in the field. A list of Field Fonds with links to finding aids is available. All of the records are subject to further review to determine whether they will be permanently retained.