UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award 2021 (up to USD $150,000)

UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award 2021 (up to USD $150,000)

Deadline: February 28, 2021

Applications are open for the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award 2021. Each year, UNHCR searches for extraordinary persons who go beyond the call of duty in supporting refugees, internally displaced and stateless people. Nominate now if you know of an inspirational individual or group making a difference.

The 2020 laureate is Ms. Mayerlín Vergara Pérez – known as Maye – a human rights activist, campaigner and the Caribbean Regional Coordinator for the Renacer Foundation, a non-governmental organization in Colombia that has been working for decades to eradicate the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, many of whom are refugees. Ms. Pérez was honoured during the UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award first ever virtual ceremony on 5 October for her outstanding work, towards the eradication of sexual exploitation and other gender-based violence of children and adolescents.


  • The laureate receives USD $150,000 to invest in their humanitarian work.
  • Additionally, four regional winners from each global region are selected and honoured with a certificate.


  • Any individual, group of people or organization that has displayed extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, displaced or stateless peoples is eligible to be nominated.
  • Former and current UNHCR staff, including United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) working for UNHCR offices, are ineligible.


Nominees are considered in the following light:

  • The deed for which the person/ entity is nominated should take place outside the framework of normal professional duties and go beyond the call of duty;
  • It should demonstrate courage;
  • It should raise awareness for displaced people; and
  • It should reflect the values of UNHCR.


All nominations must be submitted online. Once the nominations are closed, you will receive a response from the Nansen Secretariat to confirm they have received the nomination. The deadline to submit nominations is midnight CET, 28 February 2021.

Click here to nominate

For more information, visit UNHCR.