UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, calls for dialogue and peaceful engagement following an unauthorized demonstration by a group of refugees with an LGBTIQ+ profile in front of its office in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, on 23 November.
On Wednesday morning, a group of protestors marched towards UNHCR’s office in Kakuma. They were asked by the police to disband as their demonstration had not been properly authorized. The situation escalated and a total of 18 individuals were arrested and detained.
A UNHCR team was able to visit those arrested and secure their release. Despite some misleading information circulating on social media, we can confirm that none of the concerned individuals were physically injured.
UNHCR respects the rights of all refugees and asylum-seekers to peacefully protest, while reiterating that any actions must occur within the laws of the country hosting them.
UNHCR, along with Kenya’s Department of Refugee Services, local law enforcement authorities and refugee community leaders, have put in place mechanisms for peaceful community dialogue, to bring all refugee groups together to openly discuss challenges and seek solutions. We encourage all communities to engage in these peaceful initiatives.
UNHCR remains committed to working towards ensuring the protection of and finding durable solutions for all refugees regardless of their culture, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor. UNHCR reiterates its commitment to ensuring that all refugees and asylum-seekers residing in Kenya, including those with an LGBTIQ+ profile, are provided with the best possible protection and assistance on fair and equal basis.