Refugee Protection in Africa The Stanley Foundation
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Project Summary

The Stanley Foundation convened a conference on "Refugee Protection in Africa: How to Ensure Security and Development for Refugees and Hosts" in Entebbe, Uganda, from November 10-14, 2002, in conjunction with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and the Refugee Law Project of Makerere University. The conference compared policy and practice of refugee protection among six major host countries in Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) and approaches to international standards of protection.

The conference objective was to stimulate constructive dialogue among experts from inside and outside government and develop recommendations for cooperative action to bring about greater protection for the rights of refugees and local hosts. More than 50 participants from ten African countries, UNHCR, the African Union, and the United States spent much of the conference divided into two discussion groups focused on issues of security and economic integration, respectively.

While refugee-hosting states have the primary responsibility for protecting refugee and host communities and ensuring public order and security, in many situations resource limitations and political instability render this task extremely difficult. Conference participants highlighted the need for mechanisms to be developed whereby host governments may request and obtain international support in responding to situations that threaten law and order and public security, particularly in relation to swift stabilization of a situation.

The participants who focused on economic issues explored the potential contribution of refugees to economic development if and when they are given the chance to fully participate in the local economy. It was suggested that the goal of all actors involved in refugee protection should be to ensure sustainable, self-reliant livelihoods for refugees through strategies—including national development planning—that also support the long-term development needs of the local areas in which refugees live.

Participant List

Policy Bulletin

Security Discussion

Chair's summary of the security discussion

Résumé de la Discussion sur la Protection et la Sécurité des Réfugiés (en français)

Migration, Security and Refugee Protection: A Reflection
Discussion paper by Monica Kathina Juma (pdf 95 KB)

Economic Integration Discussion

Chair's summary of the economic discussion

Résumé de la Discussion sur l'Intégration Economique (en français)

Towards The Economic and Social 'Integration' of Refugee Populations in Host Countries in Africa
Discussion paper by Barbara Harrell-Bond (pdf 93 KB)

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© 2002 by The Stanley Foundation
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Project Coordinator

David Shorr
Phone: 563-264-1500
Fax: 563-264-0864

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Muscatine, IA 52761 USA