Refugees from Generation to Generation: Preventing Statelessness by Advancing Durable Solutions in the Great Lakes Region

Published: 18/Jul/2023

By Bronwen Manby

This study investigated risks of statelessness among long-term refugees in three countries of the Great Lakes region in Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda. The  study focused on refugees who had left their country of origin more than twenty years ago – defined as “long-term” refugees for the purposes of the study – and their descendants born in the  country of asylum.  The populations considered in this report are refugees of Rwandan origin in DRC, refugees of Congolese origin in Rwanda, and refugees of Congolese and South Sudanese origin in Uganda. The study involved both an analysis of laws and policies in all the countries studied, including the countries of origin of the refugees, and quantitative and qualitative research among refugees and host communities. The objective was to understand in greater depth the risk of statelessness among these long-term refugees and their descendants, and potential durable solutions that mitigate this risk. In the context of stateless persons, whether or not they are also refugees, a durable solution is linked to the recognition or granting of a nationality. Among these solutions, the study considers the improvement of access to civil registration and other identity documents, as well as the legal pathways to local integration in the country of asylum, including the possibility of acquiring nationality.

Report dated April 2023; published July 2023.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Birth Registration, ID Documents and Passports, Nationality and Refugees, Statelessness
Regions: Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda
Year: 2023