Refugee status determination: A study of the process in Uganda
May 2018 | Uganda’s refugee legal framework provides a progressive framework for the protection of refugees and processing of asylum seekers’ claims, setting a leading standard across Africa and the world. The law applies an expansive definition of refugee status determination and entitlements for protection in Uganda. The rights afforded to refugees generally comply or exceed international standards, such as providing access to plots of land, which is particularly generous given the large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda.
The legal framework sets an ambitiously short time frame for the resolution of asylum applications both at first instance and appeal. This is typically not being met and some cases are continuing for up to two years. Considering there is an outstanding asylum caseload of tens of thousands, and only one Refugee Eligibility Committee (REC) for the country it would appear difficult to operate under the legislated time frame. Long delays create uncertainty for asylum seekers and exacerbate vulnerabilities.
The aim of the research is to document the current processes involved in refugee status determination in Uganda.