When the cessation clauses came into effect to refugees from Sierra Leone (2008), Liberia (2012) and Rwanda (2017), those with continuing needs of international protection were exempted from cessation and kept their refugee status.
UNHCR and host countries are working toward securing sustainable and durable solutions for 3,714 exempted refugees in the region. Support for local integration will be achieved by obtaining an alternative durable legal status (indefinite residence status or naturalization) based on the favourable legal and policy framework, coupled with issuing nationality documents to prevent statelessness.
In July 2018, the Government of Liberia granted citizenship through naturalization to 300 former Sierra Leonean refugees.
At the time of cessation, 910 Liberian refugees were denied of Liberian passports as they did not have identity documents to prove their nationality. In 2016, with UNHCR’s advocacy, the Government of Liberia undertook passport -vetting missions to review the “red-coded” Liberian refugees hosted in 8 countries (Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone). The vetting mission resulted in 705 persons approved, 5 rejected and no-shows. In 2018, 705 approved Liberian refugees received their passports and received residence permits
UNHCR will continue to facilitate voluntary repatriation for those who opt for it, considering the political and security situations in their countries of origin have improved significantly. For those refugees who wish to voluntarily repatriate, transportation and cash grant will continue to be provided.
Sustainable Development Goals
UNHCR is firmly committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals can provide a basis for improved protection and, ultimately, solutions for forcibly displaced people. The promise to “leave no one behind” provides a basis to include the needs of refugees, IDPs, and stateless persons, in development planning.