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This article examines the evolution of UNHCR’s urban refugee policy from the mid-1990s to the present. It focuses on the complex and contested nature of the policymaking process, analyzing the roles that internal and external stakeholders have played in it. At the same time, the article identifies and examines key developments in UNHCR’s operational environment that drove and constrained policymaking in this domain. The article is written from the perspective of a former UNHCR staff member who was substantively engaged in urban refugee policy.

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Journal article


York University, Toronto

Publication Date





87 - 96


UNHCR, urban refugee policy