Political Participation of Refugees

The Case of Somali and South Sudanese Refugees in Kenya
1,147
This publication is only available in electronic format
Published: 
18 April 2018
Language: 
English
Pages: 
34
ISBN: 
978-91-7671-157-6 (PDF)
Author(s): 
Caleb Otieno Opon, Lina Antara (series editor)

Refugees have the potential to make an impact on the political life of both their host countries and their countries of origin, as they often maintain transnational links with their homelands while at the same time becoming part of their host society. 

Drawing on individual perspectives of Somali and South Sudanese refugees based in Kenya, this case study explores the formal and non-formal political participation of refugees and asylum seekers in their host country and the ways in which they are able to participate in peacebuilding and democracy-building in their countries of origin. 

Among the formal mechanisms for political participation, the case study explores issues of access to citizenship in the host country, electoral rights in both the host country and countries of origin, and membership or other forms of support to political parties. In addition, it examines non-formal mechanisms for political participation, including refugees’ participation in consultative bodies, civil society organizations, protests and grassroots initiatives, and other means of transnational political activism.

This case study is part of the Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Democracy project and has informed the development of a longer report, Political Participation of Refugees: Bridging the Gaps, published by International IDEA in 2018.

Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Host-country context: Kenya

3. Refugees’ and asylum seekers’ political participation in the host country

4. Country-of-origin context

5. Refugee diasporans’ political participation in their country of origin

6. Conclusion and recommendations

References

Annex. Glossary of terms

About the authors
About the Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Democracy project
About International IDEA

Related Content

Aug
23
2018
Launch of the report Political Participation of Refugees: Bridging the Gaps at the United Nations, New York, 17 May 2018.

Launch of the report Political Participation of Refugees: Bridging the Gaps at the United Nations, New York, 17 May 2018.

Feature Story
Jul
17
2018
Credit: International IDEA/Joshua Sowah

Image: International IDEA/Joshua Sowah

News Article
May
28
2018
The Secretary -General with Mr Romain Schneider, Minister for Development Cooperation in Luxembough. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembough.

The Secretary -General with Mr Romain Schneider, Minister for Development Cooperation in Luxembourg. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg.

News Article