Human rights agency wants state to reopen Department of Refugee Affairs
A case in which a human rights agency is challenging a decision by the government to close refugee camps will be heard in November. In the case, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Legal Advice Centre said the disbandment of the Department of Refugee Affairs is illegal. They say it has far-reaching effects on the rights of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers, as it denies them access to vital services. The agency argues that the intended closure of the Dadaab refugee camp by the end of November fails to take into account the individual needs of and safety measures on refugees. In a sworn document, the commission’s CEO Patricia Maundu said closure of the camp will endanger refugees and expose them to persecution if they are forcibly returned without a proper assessment of their security concerns. The commission seeks orders for the state to reinstate the Department of Refugee Affairs.