An Assessment of South Sudanese Refugees’ Protection and Welfare in Adjumani Refugee Settlements, Adjumani District of Uganda
Author: BYARUHANGA GODFREY
Supervisor: David Ngendo Tshimba
In modern times, refugee welfare and protection are regarded as a reflection of respect for human rights. Following the adoption of Convention Relating to Refugees and Stateless Persons of 1951, both state and non-state actors have actively been in a multiplicity of intervention mechanisms to support the refugee welfare and protection programmes. In light of this, this study sought to establish how refugee protection and welfare has been extended to South Sudanese refugees in Adjumani Refugee Settlements. It specifically delved into establishing the nature of livelihood activities carried out by refugees, state interventions, and the role of non-state actors in improving the welfare to refugees in Adjumani Refugee settlements.
Essentially qualitative in methodological orientation, this study employed a multi-site case study design. A total of 168 respondents, randomly and purposively sampled and consisting of officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, employees of the I/NGOs, community members and refugees participated in this study. Semi-structured questionnaires as well as focus group discussion and face-to-face interviews guides were used as instruments for primary data collection. Insights from secondary sources, including reports by various state and non-state actors, were consulted.
It was found out that livelihood activities are still limited and restricted. State interventions relating to refugee protection are in place, though inadequate. Non-state actors doe play a critical role in ensuring refugee welfare, which in turn opens up to a complex web of fractious relations between the settled refugees and their immediate host community members. This has led different stakeholders to think more clearly about their respective areas of focus in the overall management of refugee settlements alongside host communities. The study recommends that both refugees’ protection and welfare be given more government attention with an openness to two of the durable solutions: integration (naturalisation) and relocation (third-country resettlement) in the event that voluntary repatriation is not forthcoming. The study also recommends the need to develop a workable management support system based on joint monitoring (state—non-state—host community—refugees) of the implementation of refugees’ settlement policies.