‘Champion refugee reforms’: Speaker Lusaka urges World MPs

GENEVA, Switzerland – 26th March, 2018. Speaker of the Senate, Rt Hon Kenneth Lusaka Monday called on MPs at the 138th Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) General Assembly to spearhead migrant and refugee reforms in their countries.

While making his contribution at the Assembly attended by 751 MPs, Speaker Lusaka noted that migration reforms and refugee protection were of crucial importance but remained a thorn in the flesh of many countries.

“Various countries’ administrations, political leadership, non-state actors as well as the global community have and will continue to grapple with these reforms which have far reaching socio economic and political implications,” said the Speaker.

Speaker Lusaka told the Assembly that the positive contributions of refugees and migrants across the world ought to provide motivation to promote deliberate sustainable integration.

“I urge you all to be key drivers that support and facilitate adoption of well-researched policies which incorporate migrants and refugee rights in our society for growth,” Lusaka encouraged.

 

The Speaker had on Sunday put the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) High Commissioner, Mr Fillipo Grandi to task over the Agency’s support to countries that play host to huge numbers of refugees.

 Speaking at the Governing Council of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzerland, Speaker Lusaka noted that Kenya hosts one of the largest and oldest refugee camps in the world.

 

“The UNHCR should assist countries with limited resources that host refugees. What we need to look at now is how the UN refugee agency can increase support, to countries such as Kenya, to help cope with the increased burden that comes with playing host to such high numbers of refugees,” challenged the Speaker.

 Kenya has been hosting the world’s largest refugee camp for over a quarter century, and has consistently welcomed refugees from other conflicts, most recently from Ethiopia. The country continues to host almost half a million refugees and its borders remain open to people fleeing war.

 

In 2013, Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR signed a Tripartite Agreement to help Somali refugees from Daadab begin voluntarily returning home to nine designated areas in South Central regions and in Puntland and Somaliland that are deemed relatively safe.

In 2017, over 35,000 refugees from Daadab refugee camp moved back to Somalia under UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation programme, while over 18,000 had registered to leave. Since December 2014, over 73,000 refugees from Daadab have returned voluntarily to Somalia.

 

 

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