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IRRI Submission to the UK Government’s International Development Committee Inquiry into forced displacement and humanitarian responses in Central and East Africa

The International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) is responding to the call for information about humanitarian responses to forced displacement in Central and East Africa. Dedicated to promoting human rights in situations of conflict and displacement and enhancing the protection of vulnerable populations before, during and after conflict, IRRI works to challenge the exclusion and human rights violations that are the root causes of flight; enhancing the protection of the rights of the displaced; and promoting policy solutions enabling the conflict affected to rebuild sustainable lives and communities.

IRRI’s submission begins with a critique of two key failed policy responses to refugees in the region. First, the emphasis on encampment of refugees, especially in protracted situations of displacement; and second, the emphasis on repatriation as the favoured (and often only) durable solution. We believe that systemic implementation of UNHCR’s Alternatives to Camps policy would help resolve the deficiencies in both these approaches.2 We then specifically address the question of whether or not conditions for voluntary return for Somali refugees in Kenya are being met; and whether or not there are adequate arrangements for the closure of Dadaab camp. It concludes with some general statements.

To read our full submission, click here.

In Case You Missed It: A quarterly update from IRRI

July - December 2016

In this issue:

Read the new book: Refugees, Conflict and the Search for Belonging

Kenya closing Dadaab refugee camp, Somali refugees vulnerable

Experts panel: Promoting, supporting and facilitating solutions in displacement sitations

I Know the Consequences of War: Understanding the dynamics of displacement in Burundi

A 5 year overview of attacks on civilians in Southern Kordofan, Sudan

Our open letter to the UNHCR regarding the human rights situation in Sudan

Open letter commending African members of the International Cirminal Court

CRAI mourns the loss of Adam Hussein Adam, courageous advocate for stateless persons

Solving Statelessness: Ensuring that today’s refugees are not tomorrow’s stateless persons

Read the full issue.

IRRI is Seeking an Evaluation Consultant - Great Lakes Region

The International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) is currently looking for an evaluation consultant for its human rights monitoring and capacity building project in a conflict-affected country of the Great Lakes region.

The purpose of the consultancy is to evaluate the performance of the human rights monitoring project. The project is implemented by field monitors on the ground, from a local human rights partner organisation supported by IRRI, in one of the countries in the Great Lakes region. Teams of human rights monitors are engaged in monitoring, documenting and reporting systemic violence and human rights violations against civilians, for use in advocacy efforts. IRRI is also mandated to provide mentoring support and build the capacity of the local partner organisation.

Read the full job description here.

Open letter to Congress urging continued support and leadership in the United Nations

(28 February 2017) Continued engagement with the UN is critical to advancing a number of core U.S. foreign policy objectives, including securing recent gains in international development, delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance, combating terrorism, encouraging the peaceful resolution of conflict, and promoting universal human rights. IRRI has joined with one hundred other human and civil rights organizations to advocate for stronger United Nations support, both financially and politically.

IRRI’s submission begins with a critique of two key failed policy responses to refugees in the region. First, the emphasis on encampment of refugees, especially in protracted situations of displacement; and second, the emphasis on repatriation as the favoured (and often only) durable solution. We believe that systemic implementation of UNHCR’s Alternatives to Camps policy would help resolve the deficiencies in both these approaches.2 We then specifically address the question of whether or not conditions for voluntary return for Somali refugees in Kenya are being met; and whether or not there are adequate arrangements for the closure of Dadaab camp. It concludes with some general statements.

Furthermore, in 2005, when Congress was considering legislation to tie the payment of U.S. dues to reform, a bipartisan group of eight former U.S. Ambassadors to the UN—including Jeane Kirkpatrick, John Danforth, Richard Holbrooke, and Madeleine Albright— authored a letter opposing the proposal. “Withholding our dues to the UN is the wrong methodology,” the letter argued. “When we last built debt with the UN, the United States isolated ourselves from our allies within the UN and made diplomacy a near impossible task.”

The full letter was sent to House and Senate leadership, as well as both Appropriations Committees.