Throughout 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic entered its second year, UNHCR country operations continued to advance age, gender and diversity (AGD) inclusive programming and advocacy to address the adverse effects of the pandemic on persons of concern and to promote accountability to affected people (AAP), in line with the core actions of UNHCR’s Policy on Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD Policy).
UNHCR and its partners across the region applied the age, gender and diversity approach to address the needs of persons of concern, while building on their capacities, abilities and resilience. In 2021, UNHCR and partners also advanced targeted activities to prevent, respond to and mitigate the risk of gender-based violence (GBV), to advocate for the protection of children, and to work with LGBTIQ+ persons, older persons and persons with disabilities.
In line with its 2021-2025 Strategic Priorities, UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Europe completed two in-depth surveys in 2021: (i) a survey on GBV against refugees and other persons of concern and (ii) a survey on community engagement and communication with communities. The two surveys informed UNHCR’s priority actions at regional level, including the issuance of GBV grants to country operations with Safe from the Start funding and the development of child-friendly information material.
In addition, UNHCR commissioned in-depth research on child-friendly and gender-sensitive asylum systems in Europe and organized a regional conference for refugee-led organizations, refugee leaders, volunteers and outreach workers, in collaboration with the European Coalition for Refugees and Migrants.2 Throughout 2021, the Community-Based Protection (CBP) Working Group conducted regular meetings and thematic webinars, including on the use of social media for CBP, the protection of persons with disabilities, and working with refugee-led organizations.
Promising practices were documented and regularly disseminated to further advance AGD mainstreaming and targeted action.
This report provides a sample of some of UNHCR’s activities in 2021 to implement the 10 Core Actions of UNHCR’s AGD Policy in the Europe region.