Hu­man rights agency wants state to re­open Depart­ment of Refugee Af­fairs

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

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.

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