[An official of UNRWA responded to David Bedein’s lecture to UNCA on November 1st, 2005 in which Bedein stated that UNHCR will not provide services to the descendants of refugees. UNRWA claimed that UNHCR indeed provides services descendants of Refugees… The response received below refutes that claim by UNRWA.]

This information was secured from Brenda Goddard, who is with the legal department at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva:

If a refugee situation continues for a long period of time — as for example it has with Afghani refugees for some 20 years — children who are born of those original refugees and are in the same situation have the same status as their parents and are afforded the same assistance by UNHCR that the parents receive. However, if the parents flee as refugees to a country such as the U.S., where the law automatically counts anyone born there as a citizen, and have children in that place, these children, who have the protection of the country where they were born, are not counted by UNHCR as refugees and do not receive assistance even if the parents do.

If a durable remedy is found for the parents and they have the protection of a state (which does not necessarily mean they are repatriated), UNHCR assistance ends.

If the refugees have fled to a country that is a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees, it is that country and not UNHCR that has the primary responsibility for the refugees.