Agency welcomes court ruling on refugees
Somalia refugees wait to be screened by United Nations High Commission for Refugees officials at the Dadaab camp in this file photo. UNHCR has welcomed Kenya’s High Court ruling which stopped the government’s plans to relocate urban refugees July 30, 2013. The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed Kenya’s High Court ruling which stopped the government’s plans to relocate urban refugees.
According to the agency, when the directive was issued there were a total of 51,000 mainly Somalia urban refugees in Kenya. "Most of the refugees living in urban areas have developed coping mechanisms, and so do rely on humanitarian assistance.
There are also large numbers of refugee children attending schools in urban areas whose education would have been compromised had the relocation order been carried out,” the official said. UNHCR appeared in the petition as a "friend of the Court" and provided advice on the applicable international refugee and human rights laws.
In its ruling, the Court stated that the government did not show that the plans to relocate the refugees would heighten the country’s national security. Ms Lejeune-Kaba said UNHCR hoped the government will implement the “important constitutional decision” and move fast to resume legal services that were suspended pending the court process.