The absence of protection from persecution is a precondition to qualifying as a refugee. However, protection is not solely provided by states and may stem from non-state actors (NSAs) such as international organizations. This article will examine whether such protection may be substituted for ‘protection of that country’ and, if so, under what circumstances, and whether it may thus preclude the application of the Refugee Convention. The focus will be on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees owing to its significant role in the protection of Internally Displaced Persons, persons who often go on to make a refugee claim upon fleeing the state. The article will first put forward an interpretation of the term ‘protection of that country’, by examining the refugee definition, in particular the meaning of the terms ‘that country’ and ‘protection’; by analysing relevant principles of EU law; and by outlining how these concepts have been elaborated by relevant jurisprudence on international organizations. The second half of the article will analyse the legal basis and scope of UNHCR’s mandate with IDPs, and will conclude by illustrating the reasons why the activities of UNHCR cannot constitute ‘protection of that country’ for the purposes of precluding the application of the refugee definition.