Yamama, 9 years old, playing with her kite at Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan.
Yamama, 9 years old, playing with her kite at Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan. Photo: Hussein Amri/NRC

Our humanitarian policy and representation office in Geneva

The work of NRC’s office in Geneva is focused on influencing global humanitarian and displacement policies and partnerships.

Our primary targets are the United Nations (UN) agencies, Permanent Missions to the UN, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), international organisations, academics and others. NRC Geneva also manages our engagement with the UN Security Council Member States in New York.

Our policy and partnerships work is directly informed by NRC’s operational experience across the more than 30 countries where we work to ensure that the voices of displaced populations are guiding and influencing key decisions about their futures.

NRC aims to ensure that global diplomacy efforts are directed towards the following:

  1. Protecting and promoting principled humanitarian action;
  2. Achieving improved access to operate in hard-to-reach areas;
  3. Supporting a comprehensive approach that enables displaced people greater access to durable solutions;
  4. Preventing future displacement;
  5. Improving funding mechanisms to respond to crises and provide protection to forcibly displaced people, and;
  6. Supporting integration of climate and environmental sustainability in humanitarian policies, funding, programmes and operations.

Coordination is instrumental to advance the humanitarian policy agenda. Building on operational experience, NRC plays a key role in several interagency coordination platforms:

Our work


Protection is concerned with the safety, dignity, and rights of people affected by disaster or armed conflict. NRC’s protection policy work focuses on increasing displacement affected people’s choices about if, when, and where to move, and ensuring that conflict and disaster affected populations are able to move safely with dignity.

This is done through targeted engagement on themes of: 1) Protection of Civilians, 2) Durable Solutions, 3) mixed migration and vulnerable migrants in refugee-like situations and 4) protection in the context of climate change and disasters. NRC works closely with UN partners to strengthen a system-wide approach to protection and increase donor accountability on the centrality of protection.

Climate and Disaster Displacement

NRC is working to ensure disaster displacement is included in and acted upon in global policy processes, including climate change negotiations (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)/Paris Agreement), the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration and others.

We advocate towards protection-mandated agencies and states to include the effects of climate change and disasters in their work with refugees and internally displaced people. We participate in the Platform on Disaster Displacement as a member of the Advisory Committee and coordinate the Inter-Agency Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility.

Read more about climate and disaster displacement here.

Impact of Counterterrorism measures and Sanctions on Principled Humanitarian Action

Counterterrorism measures and sanctions regimes can have a range of negative impacts on principled humanitarian action, including placing limitations on the ability of affected populations to access assistance, and limiting the ability of humanitarian organisations to engage with non-state armed groups (NSAGs) to select beneficiaries on the basis of needs alone and to access financial services.

NRC is the leading NGO voice on this issue and has invested significantly in documenting the issue, and in raising awareness of it. Our engagement with key counterterrorism and sanctions stakeholders has helped to mitigate the impact of these measures on our work and on the communities we seek to assist.

NRC is currently managing a project together with the Global Governance Centre of the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies on mitigating the unintended humanitarian impact of UN targeted sanctions. Read more about the project here.

Humanitarian Principles and Access

Ensuring that humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence remain at the core of humanitarian work, we advocate for the protection and promotion of principled humanitarian action among relevant stakeholders to ensure it stays high on the international agenda. We also contribute to building NRC staff capacity on humanitarian principles, access, and negotiations.

Read more about humanitarian principles and humanitarian access.

Humanitarian Financing

NRC is a thought-leader within the Humanitarian Financing policy arena, with our humanitarian policy efforts focused on increasing the quantity and quality of funding. This is done through influencing global allocations and advocating for improvements in the flexibility and predictability of funding, as well as improving access to funding. We also work on supporting innovative financing mechanisms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the humanitarian response. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​


NRC Geneva’s Partnerships team works to enhance and foster strategic institutional partnerships with UN agencies and the Swiss government. Among others, this includes strong engagement with UNHCR, UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, OCHA, IOM, FAO, WFP, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Working closely with our Humanitarian Financing colleagues, we advocate for improved donor conditions and flexibilities to enhance the quality of our humanitarian operations. We also support NRC Country Offices to understand the rules and regulations of their grant agreements, offering capacity building and learning opportunities for NRC colleagues on donor procedures and engagement.

United Nations Security Council

​​​​​​​NRC Geneva leads NRC’s engagement with UNSC members in New York. This involves both public advocacy and private diplomacy. There are five permanent UNSC members: France, the UK, the US, Russia, and China. From 2021 the ten elected members are: Ireland, Norway, Mexico, India, Kenya, Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, and Viet Nam.

The Global Protection Cluster (GPC)

NRC is a longstanding and active contributor to the Global Protection Cluster (GPC). NRC currently has several areas of responsibility: NRC co-chairs the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) of the GPC, leads the Housing, Land and Property Area of Responsibility (HLP AoR), and plays an active role in the Task Team on Law and Policy. NRC is also the Protection Cluster co-coordinator in six humanitarian responses and a coordinator of HLP sub-cluster in a dozen countries. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​NRC also supports the GPC's work on disaster displacement and climate change.

NRC's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is also based in Geneva. The centre is the leading global source of information and analysis on internal displacement. Its data and analysis informs and influences policies by governments, UN agencies, donors and non-governmental organisations. It monitors internal displacement caused by conflict, violence, human rights violations and natural hazard-induced disasters.

For more information, please contact: 

e-mail nrcgeneva.policy@nrc.no

phone+41 22 552 3600

Visit NRC Geneva: 16 La Voie-Creuse, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland (on the 5th floor)