Great Lakes: Protracted Displacement, Statelessness and Durable Solutions Regional Study Overview Sheet

Published: 23/Feb/2021


The Great Lakes sub-region is characterized by a number of protracted refugee situations. In some situations, several generations of refugees have been born in exile in their country of asylum. Statelessness can arise as both a cause and consequence of displacement, particularly for forcibly displaced populations who have spent a prolonged time in exile. In some instances, refugees have lost their ties with their country of origin, are unable to prove their legal ties to their country of origin, or might no longer be considered citizens by their country of origin, and
remain without guaranteed access to the citizenship of their country of asylum.

In the spirit of the 2019 Munyonyo Outcome Document of the 2019 High Level Conference of Ministers in Charge of Refugees in the Great Lakes, this study, undertaken by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) with the support of UNHCR, aims at exploring local integration for refugees. It focuses on those living in protracted situations, for whom voluntary return to the country of origin, or resettlement or complementary pathways to a third country are not viable or available options, and who may also be at risk of  statelessness.

The 2019 Munyonyo Outcome Document emphasizes that “successful local integration requires legal stay arrangements, freedom of movement of refugees on the national territory in conformity with the law of the host country, and inclusion of refugees in national services and systems (…)” combined with “access to legal identity documentation”. To that end, the study will identify and analyze existing barriers to, and opportunities for, the realization of successful local integration in practice and provide comprehensive policy recommendations to support ICGLR Member States’ efforts in this regard.

Findings from the study will inform the implementation of some of the 58 pledges made by the ICGLR Executive Secretariat and the 12 ICGLR Member States at the High-Level Segment on Statelessness and the Global Refugee Forum in 2019. These pledges include important commitments to strengthen data on stateless persons and persons at-risk of statelessness in the region, and to explore prospects for durable solutions.

The study will help to advance regional and continental initiatives towards achieving the goals of the 2017 Brazzaville Declaration, and its Consolidated Action Plan on the Eradication of Statelessness in the Great Lakes; Agenda 2030, particularly Target 16.9. of the Sustainable Development Goals on legal identity and promotes the objectives and spirit of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Nationality and Refugees, Statelessness
Regions: Central Africa
Year: 2021