60 Years in Photos
UNHCR's first task in 1951 was to help an estimated 1 million mainly European civilians effected by World War I.
When the Hungarian uprising erupted in 1956, UNHCR faced its first post-war emergency, helping more than 200,000 people.
Africa's first modern refugee crisis occurred in the late 1950s during Algeria's independence struggle against France.
Independent African states welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the chaos of independence struggles.
The flight of 10 million Bengalis to India in 1971 was the most dramatic exodus of the 20th century.
In 1974, 400,000 people became homeless during clashes between Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus.
The flight of Vietnamese refugees began after the fall of Saigon to North Vietnam forces in 1975. An estimated 3 million.
In the late 1970s, Thailand became the country of first asylum for refugees from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
A cycle of repression and violence engulfed Central America in the 1980s and more than 300,000 people.
The exodus of more than 6 million Afghans started in 1979. People fled to such sites as the Ghazi Refugee Village in Pakistan.
Drought and war resulted in a massive influx of Ethiopians into Sudan during the 1980s and tens of thousands of people die.
By late 1991 nearly 750,000 Somalis were sheltering in Ethiopia's Hararghe region and the need for wood became a serious problem.
After years of exile and a 13-month repatriation operation completed in 1993, tens of thousands of Cambodians began a new life.
Some of the refugees originating from Bhutan who ended up staying in seven camps in eastern Nepal. This picture was taken in 1992.
War and displacement ripped through West Africa in the 1990s. More than 800,000 Liberians fled their homeland in the early 1990s.
War in the Balkans in the 1990s displaced 3 million people and 8,000 men and boys from the Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda triggered a massive exodus into neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.
The crisis in Africa's Great Lakes region also involved Burundi where 270,000 Rwandans sought safety.
At least 20,000 people were killed, a half million people were displaced and 60,000 civilians fled to Afghanistan.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, conflict erupted in several areas of the former empire.
Within days of NATO's air strikes against Serb positions in 1999, nearly 1 million civilians fled or were forced into exile.
Refugees began flooding back into Kosovo virtually as quickly as they had left, but many returned to scenes of utter destruction.
Afghan refugees prepare to return home in 2002 from a staging post near the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar.