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Refugees deserve dignity, Mudavadi says

 Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Author and media personality Barrack Muluka at the launch of Barrack Muluka's book titled 'Home and Exile. [David Gichuru , Standard]

The government plans to pioneer innovative ways that will integrate refugees with the surrounding communities.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said although the refugee crisis has been a thorny issue in the government's flesh for a long time, there is need to look for viable solutions.

"The entire globe is affected and cannot continue to do the same things time and again and wish the migration issue away," Mudavadi said.

Speaking in Nairobi during launch of a book titled 'Home and Exile' by Dr Barrack Muluka, the PCS  said there is need to engage in conversation on what makes refugee camps permanent features in human habitation.

"How do we stem and possibly reverse the trend? Why are refugees arriving in camps even in relative peacetime? Why are they not returning to their countries even after factors that rattled them seem to have come to an end?" Mudavadi posed.

he said the region contributes to a third of the global refugee population which now stands at 110 million urging for a collective dialogue.

"The world must speak with one voice on refugee matters," he stated.

This comes at a time when the 74th Session of the Executive Committee of High Commission Programme is set to take place in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting will dwell on the camps to settlement, Social- economic Hubs for intergrated refugee inclusion in Kenya. 

Mudavadi is set to pitch Kenya as a frontrunner in providing solutions to the rising refuge problem.

"Through the UNHCR's Shirika Plan, Kenya is pioneering innovative approaches for the refugees management," he added.

UNHCR representative Carolyne Van Buren said the programme is aimed at transforming the refugee camps.

"The government is shaping it's policy from in camp to intergrate settlement. This will ensure refugees are included in service profession in the country and together with host communities can benefit from social -economic development programs," Van Buren said.

Van Buren hailed Kenya for providing homage to many refugees for decades.

"The people of Kenya have shown extraordinary generosity towards refugees. This inclusive approach is a much needed shift in humanitarian response," she stated.

 Standard Newspaper Group Chief Editor John Bundotich (right) chats with Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi as Author and media personality Barrack Muluka looks on after the launch of his book titled 'Home and Exile, at the the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi. [David Gichuru , Standard]

Dr Everlyne Jepkemei, researcher challenges the government to collaborate with academia to gain from their work.

"Universities undertake research which are then kept in their depositories. Unfortunately we don't have linkage where that evidence can be inform policy making," she said.

PLO Lumumba said problem of refugees is a real issue which require collective responsibility.

"When people are dislocated from their original homes they need to be protected by law and in a manner that will not undermine their human dignity," he said. "All hands should be on the deck with everyone taking a solemn vow to do anything in their power they solve this problem." 

Dr Barrack Muluka urged governments to look at situations that create refugees rather than the people themselves.

"There is need to re-open a global conversation on the question of refugees, and more critically the factors that displace people," Dr Muluka said.

He blamed the political class of orchestrating the current situation in the world.

"The fragility of a state particularly African states, we are potential refugees every day. Countries are in habit of rehearsing with what we say," Dr Muluka stated.

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