Friday, July 12, 2024

UNHCR says updating the legislative system lessens dependence of refugees on State resources

Although the economic cost of receiving and housing refugees is pretty high on host countries, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the government of Botswana may be able to lower the cost by revising the national legislative framework. UNHCR Officer in Charge, Madoda Leslie Nasha, asserts that most of the difficulties that refugees in Botswana confront could be alleviated by revising the Refugee Act. “Many of the challenges that refugees face could be addressed by updating the national legal framework,” explains Nasha, adding that revising the Refugee (Recognition and Control) Act might result in refugees having greater self-reliance. The UNHCR Officer in Charge is optimistic that the government of Botswana would review the Refugee Act.

“We very much hope that the Government of Botswana will review the Refugee (Recognition and Control) Act of 1968 in order to bring the country in line with international law and standards of refugee protection. Easing restrictions on refugees’ movement will enable them to seek employment outside of the camp and develop greater self-reliance,” says Nasha. Among other things, Nasha said “a change to the Refugee Act could include improved processes for determining refugee status, a reduction in arbitrary detention, and prevention of statelessness,” adding that amending the Act to increase the freedom of movement of refugees would result in improved “welfare and reduce dependency on UNHCR and State resources, as well as timely provision of durable solutions for refugees in Botswana”.

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