Focus group with Somali refugees in Kakuma, Kenya, during the research for "The Case of Somali and South Sudanese Refugees in Kenya"
Hosting an estimated 1.3 million refugees mainly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda has become Africa’s major destination of refugees and one of the top five worldwide. While ongoing debates are largely focusing on the humanitarian, socio-economic and security implications of large refugee flows, issues related to refugees’ civic and political inclusion and their potential to participate in political life and decision-making processes in their host countries and their countries of origin have not been adequately explored.
Recognizing the dual role of refugees as political actors in both their host and origin countries, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) with the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, gathered comparative knowledge on the various formal and non-formal mechanisms of political participation of refugees in their host and origin countries, and presents the report “Political participation of refugees: bridging the gaps”.
The report is based on case studies carried out through interviews and focus group discussions with refugees and key informants in eight host countries with high numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, including Germany, Kenya, Lebanon, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, the UK. It offers cross-country insights into the experiences of refugee communities originating from five of the largest source countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
International IDEA, in collaboration with The International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) are pleased to invite you to the presentation of the report “Political Participation of Refugees: Bridging the Gaps”, followed by two panels of experts and practitioners who will discuss the challenges and good practices with regards to refugees’ political participation in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa, as well as the role of the Congolese, South Sudanese and Somali refugee diasporas in peace and democracy-building in their origin countries.