Kyiv (Ukraine) ? The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is deeply concerned about the disappearance of Leonid Razvozzhaev from Kyiv, Ukraine on 19 October 2012.
The individual approached UNHCR seeking international protection and was invited to be registered at the office of UNHCR?s partner organization, an NGO providing free legal assistance in Kyiv. The legal counselor at the organization conducted a registration interview and began to provide free legal counseling to the individual. During a break in the counseling session, the legal counselor contacted UNHCR in order to discuss the situation, and meanwhile Mr. Razvozzhaev said he would go to a nearby cafeteria for lunch and left his personal belongings in the office. When he did not return to the interview and the lawyer could not contact him on the phone, a missing person?s report was immediately filed with the Solomiansky division of the police.
A functional asylum system requires that persons seeking international protection have confidence in a fair and equitable asylum system that will allow them to make their claim and to have their human rights, notably their physical integrity and personal data fully respected and protected by the host State. Any removal to the country of origin not respecting existing procedures may lead to the State being held responsible for a grave violation of national and international law.
UNHCR expects that the incident will be thoroughly investigated by the relevant law enforcement authorities and awaits the results of official investigation.
• The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950. It became operational on January 1, 1951. UNHCR?s contributions to the world peace have been recognized with Nobel Peace prizes in 1954 and 1981.
• UNHCR works in Ukraine since March 1994. From 1996 to 2011 UNHCR contributed over 36 million USD to Ukraine. UNHCR programmes have over the years enhanced the capacities of numerous Government agencies and non-governmental organization and provided life sustaining assistance to thousands of individuals (direct assistance in the form of food and non-food items, medical assistance or monthly subsistence allowance in 2011 amounted to 450,000 USD).
• UNHCR has since its inception provided training and material support in the form of equipment (computers, vehicles, refurbishment of premises) to numerous Government agencies (the State
• Committee for Nationalities and Religions, Regional Migration Services, Border Guards) to the tune of 2.5 million USD.
• As of January 1, 2012 there are app. 2,500 recognized refugees and 5,875 stateless persons in Ukraine.
• In 2011, the three countries? programmes (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine) managed by the UNHCR Regional Representation in Kyiv amounted to 4.7 million USD ex-staffing.
• UNHCR provides protection to refugees and other displaced persons on a non-political and humanitarian basis. The objective is to seek permanent solutions for persons who depend on international protection which, in the event of impossibility of return to the country of origin, entails providing for a supportive environment to integrate locally.
• Globally there are 43 million forcibly displaced persons, the majority of whom receive some form of UNHCR assistance (15.2 million refugees, 27.1 million internally displaced, 983 thousand asylum seekers).
• There are as many as 12 million stateless persons around the globe and 6.6 million are known to UNHCR in some 60 countries world wide.
• Over the past 60 years UNHCR has saved millions of lives, by bringing donor funds and international political will to bear on the world?s refugee problems on a scale unimaginable prior to its founding.
• In addition to saving lives, UNHCR continues to help millions of people to rebuild their lives, to return safely home or to find new homes.
• UNHCR notes that Ukraine accepted to abide by international refugee law 10 years ago by acceding to the 1951 Convention related to the status of refugees and that it has indicated readiness to accede to the 1954 and 1961Conventions on Statelessness.