UNHCR continues to engage with and to seek solutions for some 55 refugees with an LGBTI profile who started a sit-in protest in front of its office in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday 8 April. The group demands expedited refugee status determination and immediate resettlement. They have been living in a […]
UNHCR continues to engage with and to seek solutions for some 55 refugees with an LGBTI profile who started a sit-in protest in front of its office in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday 8 April.
The group demands expedited refugee status determination and immediate resettlement. They have been living in a temporary emergency shelter since late 2018, following their relocation from the Kakuma refugee camp to Nairobi due to security concerns.
“The protection and well-being of refugees are our top priorities. UNHCR has been working hard to find an appropriate solution for them, in cooperation with the Kenyan authorities. Allowing them to remain in an urban environment as diverse as Nairobi is definitely the way forward and the best available option for the time being,” said Walpurga Englbrecht, UNHCR’s Deputy Representative in Kenya, responsible for the legal protection of refugees.
The UNHCR official said that financial support has been offered to help refugees meet their needs, including shelter and food. “Given the temporary nature of the shelter where they have been staying and its imminent closure by the Kenyan Government, the most viable solution for these refugees under the current circumstances is to accept this support,” said Englbrecht.
“There are children among those refugees protesting, which makes it even more crucial to reach a resolution quickly, peacefully and in full respect with city laws. UNHCR will of course continue to closely monitor the situation,” she added, noting that staff of the Refugee Affairs Secretariat also met with the refugees.
“While many refugees hope to get resettled abroad, the reality is that the number of resettlement places remains very low,” added Englbrecht.
UNHCR continues to support the Government to expedite the refugee status determination process and to advocate with resettlement countries for an increase in the number of resettlement places.
Less than one per cent of the 19.9 million refugees around the world are resettled to a third country each year. UNHCR identifies refugees in need of resettlement as part of its mandate, but quotas and final decisions on admissibility are made by States.
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