Nansen International Office for Refugees


Office international Nansen pour les Réfugiés (Nansen International Office for Refugees)

Office international Nansen pour les Réfugiés (Nansen International Office for Refugees)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1938

Founded: 1921, Geneva, Switzerland

Role: An international aid organization established by Fridtjof Nansen

Prize motivation: “for having carried on the work of Fridtjof Nansen to the benefit of refugees across Europe”

Prize share: 1/1

Protecting the interests of refugees

The Nansen Office was set up in 1930 in accordance with a League of Nations resolution to keep up the relief work that had been launched by Fridtjof Nansen, the first high commissioner for refugees. Early in the 1930s, the Office was busy in helping Armenians who had been driven out of Turkey, and it was an important driving force behind the drawing up of the League of Nations Refugee Convention.

Later in the 1930s, the organization cared mainly for refugees located in Central and South-eastern Europe, France, Syria and China. The Office ran refugee camps, issued passports to the stateless (Nansen passports), and helped to provide visas, jobs, medicine and food.

The Nansen Office was closed in 1938, but its activities have been carried on by a new Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees which has its seat in London.

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