from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA has launched the National Refugee Policy, outlining a progressive approach to asylum and refugee management.
It articulates the central ambition of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Compact on Refugees, to include refugees in national systems and plans and provide greater support to the communities and countries hosting them.
Jack Mwiimbu, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, presided over the launch in the capital, Lusaka.
UNHCR welcomed the formal launch of the policy and its implementation plan as signifying the government’s intention to implement a landmark programme that will enhance the protection and rights of forcibly displaced communities, enable them to be self-reliant and find sustainable long-term solutions for them while also focusing on improving socio-economic conditions for the Zambian communities that host them.
The policy paves the way for harmonisation in the regulatory framework aimed at improving refugee rights and finding local solutions for forcibly displaced persons in Zambia.
The policy and its implementation plan are expected to lead to sectoral policy reforms that are needed to create an enabling legal and protection environment for refugees to achieve self-reliance.
It will allow refugees to safely participate in and contribute to the social and economic life of the local communities who are hosting them within the safety of Zambia’s borders.
Zambia currently hosts 95 518 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
They are in Mantapala, Mayukwayukwa and Meheba refugee settlements as well as in urban areas.
– CAJ News