Since 2008, the International Refugee Rights Initiative, in partnership with the Social Science Research Council, have carried out a research and advocacy project to generate better understandings of the lived experience of unequal access to belonging and citizenship, and its relationship to displacement in the Great Lakes region. The project brings together social scientists, NGO advocates, lawyers and displaced communities to conduct a series of case studies and to suggest policy changes which will contribute to finding solutions to conflict. The focus of the work is on those aspects of policy over which there is greatest contestation: questions of multiple citizenships, local identities, border communities, and the impact of emerging regional forms of citizenship.

Working Paper #1, November 2008
Going Home or Staying Home? Ending Displacement for Burundian Refugees in Tanzania
Research was conducted in partnership with the Center for the Study of Forced Migration and the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Working Paper #2, November 2009
Two People Can’t Wear the Same Pair of Shoes: Citizenship, Land and the Return of Refugees to Burundi
Research conducted in partnership with Rema Ministries, Burundi

Working Paper #3, March 2010
Who Belongs Where? Conflict, Displacement, Land and Identity in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Working Paper #4, June 2010
A Dangerous Impasse: Rwandan Refugees in Uganda
This paper was carried out in partnership with the Refugee Law Project, Faculty of Law, Makerere University, Uganda

Working Paper #5, November 2010
Hoping for Peace, Afraid of War: the Dilemmas of Repatriation and Belonging on the Borders of Uganda and South Sudan
This paper was published as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) Research Paper No, 196 at

Working Paper #6, July 2011
Shadows of Return: The Dilemma of Congolese Refugees in Rwanda

Working Paper #7, May 2012
Darfurians in South Sudan: Negotiating Belonging in Two Sudans
Research conducted in partnership with the Darfurian community in Kampala