Russian Refworld

Dear Refworld Subscribers,

UNHCR’s Refworld database at is a protection information and knowledge resource which facilitates effective, evidence-based decision-making in refugee status determination procedures. The database also serves more broadly as a key tool for well-informed advocacy relating to resettlement, statelessness, internal displacement, as well as specific protection concerns. UNHCR launched Refworld on the internet in June 2007, replacing the older versions that were available on DVD and CD-ROM. In April of this year a revamped version, Refworld 2013, went live, featuring significant improvements in design and functionalities.

UNHCR is pleased to announce the launch of the Russian version of Refworld, at This next step in the development of Refworld brings the database to a whole new user group, and does so on an auspicious day, Human Rights Day, celebrated annually on the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Russian Refworld has the potential to contribute to the protection in an important part of the world of refugees who have fled human rights abuses.

Russian Refworld currently contains some 4,500 Russian documents with country of origin information, legal and policy information, from some 60 publishers. Documents will be added to Russian Refworld on an ongoing basis. The same standards as for the English version of Refworld are applied to vet the publishers included, so as to ensure that the documents meet certain quality criteria and are relevant to users. The documents in the database are fully searchable. New documents will be identified and added on an ongoing basis, ensuring that the contents of the database remain as up-to-date and relevant as possible. Russian Refworld contains also thematic pages, or “Special Features”, where users can find key documents on Children; Gender Equality and Women; Caselaw of the European Court of Human Rights; Refugee Protection and International Migration; Refugee Status Determination; and the UN Human Rights System. 

Government officials responsible for asylum decisions are an important target group, but as Russian Refworld will be available in the public domain, other stakeholders in the asylum procedure – such as lawyers, judges, NGOs, civil society – will also benefit from this new tool, as will academics, scholars and students.

The availability and accessibility of searchable country-of-origin, legal and policy information in Russian in one central database has the potential to contribute to better quality asylum decisions in all countries where Russian is used as a first language or is otherwise generally spoken and understood. Asylum-seekers who apply for international protection in Russian-speaking countries are therefore the ultimate beneficiaries of this project.

Russian Refworld has been developed as part of the “Asylum Systems Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus” (QIEE) project co-funded by the European Union.

Any questions or remarks on Russian Refworld, or user-experiences can be sent to

Thank you for your continued support of Refworld.
The Refworld Team

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