UNHCR Ethiopia - Operational Update (January 2019)
Ethiopia has passed a new refugee law granting more rights to refugees.
UNHCR welcomes the new law, one of the most progressive refugee policies in Africa. This Operational Update provides an overview of the new provisions.
UNHCR, together with fifty-three humanitarian partners has launched the 2019-2020 Ethiopia Country Refugee Response Plan (ECRRP). The Plan can be downloaded on UNHCR’s Ethiopia Data Portal.
As UNHCR works to consolidate and enhance registration data, the monthly population of concern figures have been frozen as of 31 August 2018, to facilitate the completion of the ongoing Level 3 Registration exercise. New figures will be released on 1 June 2019.
UNHCR welcomes Ethiopia’s new refugee law granting more rights to refugees
Ethiopia has a long standing history of hosting refugees. The country maintains an open door policy for new arrivals and allows humanitarian access and protection to those seeking asylum on its territory. One of the original signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Ethiopia recently updated it existing national Refugee Proclamation, making it one of the most progressive in Africa.
The new law grants more rights to refugees and asylum-seekers, including the right to engage in wage earning employment in certain circumstances. In addition, and along side other rights, refugees and asylum seekers will gain the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his or her residence, as well the freedom to leave the country at any time he or she wishes to. See the following page for a list of key legal provisions now afforded to refugees under the new refugee law.
UNHCR welcomes Ethiopia’s new Refugee Proclamation which will guide the move away from a traditional camp-based approach towards greater inclusion of refugees into host communities. This will be to the benefit of both refugees and host communities. Refugees will be allowed to build their skills and a more dignified life while at the same time contributing to the local economies and fueling local development.
In addition, it is the expectation that UNHCR and other partners will use the Proclamation as a springboard to attract additional resources from the private sector and from development actors, to make new investments and create opportunities for employment to the benefit of both refugees and host communities.
Watch the video statement on the new refugee law from the UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia, Ms. Clementine Nkweta-Salami: https://vimeo.com/318147201