Refugee Rights News




IRRI and other rights groups call on Egypt to end arbitrary detention of refugees.

(16 March 2015) Since February 9, 2015 a group of at least 30 Syrian, Palestinian-Syrian and Somali refugees detained at Karmooz police station in Alexandria - Egypt, began an open hunger strike to protest against their arbitrary detention. The refugees
have been kept in continuous detention after receiving a deportation order by Egypt's Homeland Security
agency, despite an earlier order by the Public Prosecutor to release them. The lives of the hunger strikers will be put at grave risk if the Egyptian authorities continue to arbitrarily detain them. This statement calls on the Egyptian government to act now and immediately release all refugees held without charges at Karmooz Police Station in Alexandria.

Read the full statement.


IRRI Rights in Exile Newsletter
March 2015

a monthly forum for news and discussion on refugee legal aid


Rwandan Refugees in Congo in Search of Protection

Exporting human rights obligations: Israel’s “voluntary departures” put lives in danger


Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond: Food for thought from a Rwandan refugee


CAMEROON: Pilot Refugee Rights Training for North West Lawyers

UNHCR urges Europe to recreate a robust search and rescue operation on Mediterranean, as Operation Triton lacks resources and mandate needed for saving lives

As violence spreads beyond Nigeria, UNHCR calls for urgent access to the displaced

Read the full newsletter.


IRRI signs joint NGO letter to the AU PSC on the AU Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan

3 March 2015

We, the undersigned South Sudanese and international non-governmental organizations, write to urge you to immediately consider, publish and disseminate the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS).

The 29 January 2015 decision of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) to defer consideration of the report was based on a belief that its publication would obstruct the achievement of peace in South Sudan. We have learnt with regret that the decision was made without members of the PSC having considered the AUCISS report or its recommendations.

The AUCISS committed in its June 2014 interim report to produce a detailed final report containing findings and recommendations on healing, reconciliation, accountability and institutional reforms that would contribute to finding lasting solutions to the crisis in South Sudan. The AUCISS promised “recommendations that will help move South Sudan forward.”

Read the full letter (English) (French) (Spanish).

High Court Strikes Down Cap on the Number of Refugees in Kenya; Other Damaging Provisions Remain

Posted on February 26, 2015 by

On 23 February 2015, Kenya’s High Court struck down a controversial provision in the newly passed Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 (“the Security Act”) which limited the number of asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya to 150,000 persons. Other provisions that are still in place, however, threaten to restrict the rights of refugees by tightening up restrictions on refugee freedom of movement and by narrowing the time limit for asylum seekers to submit requests for refugee status.


Kenya is the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, providing shelter to almost 600,000 officially registered refugees, mostly from Somalia (462,970) and South Sudan (97,780) (UNHCR). However, in recent years Kenya has become a rather unwelcoming host for many of these guests. In the light of increased attacks conducted by the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabaab inside Kenya, refugees – in particular Somali refugees – have repeatedly become the target of harsh discrimination, often in violation of international law.

Read the full blog.