International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics (IRRS)

The International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics (IRRS) adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission in March 2018 (Decision 49/115), provide a set of specific recommendations that countries and international organizations can use to improve the collection, collation, disaggregation, reporting, and overall quality of statistics on populations forcibly displaced across borders. The recommendations are intended to help improve national statistics on the stocks and flows and characteristics of refugee and refugee related populations, and to help make such statistics comparable internationally. The IRRS were developed through a collaborative process including national authorities and international agencies responsible for statistics on forced displacement.

The IRRS presents recommendations on refugees, asylum seekers and related populations. This document represents an important milestone as it presents:


  • Statistical framework standardizing relevant terminology and classifications.
  • List of basic data tabulations and indicators.
  • Assessment of data sources and methods and recommendations for their use and improvement.
  • Identification of socioeconomic indicators to measure refugee integration.
  • Recommendations to improve coordination at national, regional and international level as well as data quality, statistical legal frameworks and capacity development.
International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics (IRRS)

Implementation examples


Read more about how countries and institutions have started to apply the recommendations to harmonize definitions and concepts, include refugees and IDPs in national data collection exercises, build capacity and improve the coordination between different stakeholders working in the area.