As the UN Agency with the mandate to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees in Ghana, the ultimate goal is to help find durable solutions that will allow them to rebuild their lives in dignity and peace. There are three solutions open to refugees: voluntary repatriation; local integration; or resettlement to a third country in situations where it is impossible for a person to go back home or remain in the host country.
The 3 durable solutions options include the following:
- Voluntary repatriation: UNHCR supports the return of refugees only when conditions for return can be guaranteed to be voluntary, safe and dignified. Prospects for returning home for most Togolese in Ghana, many of whom have lived in Ghana for over 20 years continue to be very limited. For the Ivorian refugee community who are currently the largest refugee population in Ghana, UNHCR continues to promote their voluntary repatriation
- Local integration: Most refugees live with the intention of returning home when circumstances permit. However, some cannot do so as they fear persecution should they return. Others also build their lives in the country of asylum and find it difficult to return. Refugees have the option to remain in the country of asylum if they choose. In 2012, about 4,000 Liberian Refugees opted for local integration as a durable solution and have integrated into the various local communities in Ghana. They were issued with Liberian passports and residence permits which grants them a legal stay in Ghana. UNHCR Ghana continues advocating for socio economic inclusion of all refugees and legal pathways to support their local integration.
- Resettlement: Resettlement opportunities are very limited and largely dependent on the resettlement countries. For some refugees, the zeal to engage in meaningful economic activities is low because some have the notion that actively engaging in economic activities will make it difficult to get resettlement slots.
UNHCR prioritizes for resettlement persons with specific needs, including survivors of violence and torture, women and children at risk, refugees with legal and physical protection needs and unaccompanied or separated minors.
UNHCR Ghana works to ensure the achievement of these durable solutions for refugees. However, for a greater number of them, these solutions are nowhere in sight. UNHCR Ghana has been highlighting these protracted situations in a bid to get movement towards solutions.