A Generation in Limbo: Protracted Refugee Situations in Kenya Must Be Addressed (SOURCE: New Security Beat)

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The 1951 Refugee Convention spells out refugee rights, including the right to freedom of movement. Yet 68 years later, 15.9 million people are trapped in prolonged exile, living as refugees for anywhere from 5 to 47 years and counting. The unprecedented duration of protracted refugee situations (PRS) and the increasing scale of forced migration demand a comprehensive response beyond humanitarian assistance.   Of the record 70.8 million people displaced by persecution and violence in 2018, more than 25.9 million were refugees, of which 15.9 million were in 49 protracted refugee situations. These figures demonstrate the severity of the crisis within a catastrophe. Failure to address the root causes and mitigate the risks will lead to irregular secondary movement of refugees from poor to rich countries, waste of human potential, and possible radicalization of jobless youth who are stuck in limbo without a future. After living for more than a decade in limbo in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, I was one of the lucky few who were given the…

UNHCR: Birth certificates signal brighter future for stateless children in Kenya

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Emma Muguni smiles through her tears as she holds her six children’s birth certificates in her hands. From now on, she will not need to worry about their future here in Kenya. They are among the 600 birth certificates recently issued to children from the stateless Shona community in Kenya for the first time. “My prayer has always been that they would not have to struggle like I did,” says Emma. “They are always sent home from school to get their birth certificates. Now with this piece of paper, they can go to different places, and they can make a life for themselves.” The Shona community arrived in Kenya from Zimbabwe as Christian missionaries in the 1960s. They carried Rhodesian passports and were registered as British subjects. After Kenya’s independence in 1963, they had a two-year window to register as Kenyans, which many missed, rendering them stateless. Click here to continue reading from the original source. 

Phys Larger ethnic communities help new refugees find work, research shows

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Ethnic enclaves are often viewed as a negative for the integration of immigrants with natives in their new country. But it turns out that ethnic communities can help newly arrived refugees find work, according to a new Stanford study that analyzed a cohort of asylum seekers in Switzerland. Researchers at the Stanford Immigration Policy Lab found that new refugees were more likely to become employed within their first five years if Swiss officials assigned them to live in an area with a larger community of people who share their nationality, ethnicity or language. "Our study shows that ethnic networks can be beneficial for the economic status of refugees at least within the first few years of their arrival in the host country," said Jens Hainmueller, a professor of political science at Stanford and a co-author on the research paper, published July 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Hainmueller is also a faculty co-director of the Stanford…

The Guardian: Refugees face routine sexual violence in Libyan detention centres – report

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Refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa are being subjected to horrific and routine sexual violence in Libyan detention centres, a survey has found. People arriving at the centres are “often immediately raped by guards who conduct violent anal cavity searches, which serves the dual purpose of retrieving money, as well as humiliation and subjugation”, the report by the Women’s Refugee Commission says. Many of the victims have been forcibly returned to the country by the Libyan coastguard under policies endorsed by the European Union. Click here to continue reading from the original source.

Citizen: UN Officials: 13 Million in Congo need aid in major increase

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The number of people needing humanitarian aid in Congo has increased dramatically in the past year to 13 million and “hunger and malnutrition have reached the highest level on record,” the head of the U.N. children’s agency said Monday. UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore told a news conference that 7.5 million of those needing aid are children, including 4 million suffering from acute malnutrition and over 1.4 million from severe acute malnutrition “which means that they are in imminent risk of death.” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock, who just returned from a visit to Congo with Fore, said the U.N. is appealing for $1.65 billion in humanitarian aid for the country this year – more than double the $700 million plus that it raised last year to help 8.5 million people. Click here to continue reading from the original source.
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