Power and Politics

Cabinet approves first ever National Refugee Policy


Cabinet has approved the first-ever National Refugee Policy which would ensure that all matters related to or incidental to refugees were effectively managed and coordinated.

The decision by Cabinet came on the premise that Zambia had been hosting and protecting persons of concern from neighbouring countries and beyond since the 1940s.

Acting Information and Media Minister, Mike Mposha, confirmed the development in a statement issued in Lusaka on Saturday.

Mposha said the country had been welcoming and providing refuge, care and resources for the welfare of asylum seekers, refugees and former refugees in places such as Meheba, Mayukwayukwa and Mantapala, as well as urban areas.

“However, there has been no National Refugee Policy to guide the proper management of the affairs of refugees leading to fragmented interventions,” he said.

Mposha said the absence of the Refugee Policy in the past, made it difficult to provide effective protection to refugees as well as provision of social services, livelihood opportunities and lasting solutions.

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He said it was in this vein, therefore, that Cabinet had felt it important that the country puts in place a policy to deal with the refugees in a well-coordinated manner going forward.

“This is also in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol,” Mposha said.

He added that it was also in line with the 1969 Convention governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants of 2016 and the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees.

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