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Nansen International Office for Refugees

Nansen International Office for Refugees, worldwide agency est. 1931 by the League of Nations to work on behalf of refugees. It was named for Fridjof Nansen, head of the League's High Commission for Refugees from 1921 until his death in 1930. Based in Geneva, the Nansen Office aided more than 800,000 displaced persons during its eight-year mandate. The Office also was responsible for the Refugee Convention of 1933, a basic human-rights document for refugees signed by 14 countries. By 1933 the rise of Nazi Germany produced a flood of additional refugees, and the League founded the High Commission for Refugees Coming from Germany, with headquarters in London. The Nansen Office fulfilled its mandate in 1938, and that year it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. After both agencies were dissolved (1938), they were superseded (1939) by the London-based Office of the High Commissioner for All Refugees under League of Nations Protection.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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