Refugee Rights News






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December 2011

IRRI Primer on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the Great Lakes Conference

(December 16, 2011) The International Refugee Rights Initiative today launched a primer “Using the Great Lakes Conference to Combat Sexual Violence: A Primer.” The launch coincides with the closure of the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Kampala on the theme “United to Prevent, End Impunity and Provide Support to the Victims of SGBV in the Great Lakes Region.”

The primer offers an overview of the content of various ICGLR instruments related to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). It also gives an overview of the institutional architecture which may be engaged in order to give effect to the commitments articulated in the instruments. An annex reproduces portions of the key ICGLR texts which are most relevant to SGBV. The primer is intended to serve as a resource for civil society organisations and others who may wish to engage with the ICGLR as part of their efforts to address SGBV in the region.   

Read the full primer here. (The French is available here).

October 2011

Resisting Repatriation: Burundian Refugees Struggling to Stay in Tanzania

(4 October 2011) On 25 May 2011, a Tripartite Commission comprised of the governments of Tanzania and Burundi and the UNHCR met to discuss the future of approximately 38,000 refugees in Mtabila camp in Tanzania. The talks ended with a decision to close the camp on 31 December 2011. The government of Tanzania has announced that they expect a renewed repatriation drive to start imminently and that they are prepared to revoke the refugee status of the group “if need be.”

Although refugees in Mtabila camp have been resisting return for more than two years, weathering numerous “deadlines” for repatriation and the steady withdrawal of services, there is growing fear among refugees that the current deadline of 31 December 2011 is going to lead to forcible repatriation.

Read the full report.

Lisez en francais.

Commentary on the ICC Draft Guidelines on Intermediaries

(August 2011) Intermediaries play a critical role in the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) providing specialist information services and expertise and linking various organs of the ICC with constituencies on the ground. And these roles are likely to only expand as the ourt expands its work. The International Refugee Rights Initiative and the Open Society Justice Initiative therefore welcome the ICC's effort to regularize its relationship with intermediaries. In order to support this process, IRRI and OSJI have produced a detailed commentary on the International Criminal Court's "Draft Guidelines Concerning the Relationship between Intermediaries and the International Criminal Court" of October 2010 intended to assist the court in the finalization of the guidelines. The commentary draws on over two years of research and confidential consultations with persons who have worked with the court accross situation countries and a workshop with more than 20 participants in early 2011.

Read the full commentary.

Shadows of Return: The Dilemmas of Congolese Refugees in Rwanda

(July 2011) Speculation is rife in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) surrounding the possible return of Congolese refugees currently living in Rwanda following the signing of a tripartite agreement between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the governments of Rwanda and the DRC in February 2010. Yet as with most rumours, there is currently little credible information about this group and their views and aspirations in relation to return.

In response, the International Refugee Rights Initiative has released a paper designed to move the discussion forward by injecting credible and concrete information about the situation of this group. Based on interviews with 52 refugees, the paper reflects the refugees' strong desire to return home. The report also makes recommendations on actions that may be taken to promote the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Read the full report here.

Lisez la version française ici.