12.02.2018 08:48 Age: 35 days

Joint verification exercise of refugees and asylum seekers residing in Rwanda launched

A refugee using some of the materials mostly used in refugees and Asylum seekers verification at OASIS OF PEACE on 9th February, 2018

The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees, the Rwanda Directorate General of immigration and Emigration, the National Identification Agency (NIDA) in partnership with the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) launched on 9th February, 2018 at OAISIS OF PEACE the Verification Exercise of all Refugees and Asylum seekers living in Rwanda  with the purpose of updating information and verifying their physical presence in the country through biometric data.

The verifications activity begun with urban refugees and asylum seekers but it is expected that the activity will be extended to other refugees living in 6 refugee camps. 

This activity will positively impact refugees by giving them greater access to identity documents which will facilitate their ability to access Government services, employability and to move more freely in the country and abroad. 

Rwanda has committed in last year's Leaders' Summit on Refugees convened by then United State President Obama to integrate refugees in the Government health insurance (urban refugees), education, documentation services and promotion of inclusion of refugees through the joint Rwanda- UNHCR livelihoods strategy. By the sharing of refugee data, the Government and UNHCR can plan properly for this integration. 

Registration of refugees and asylum-seekers in Rwanda is a joint activity between the Government and UNHCR. Both parties adjudicate registration cases, make joint decisions on eligibility for registration and collect individualized basic bio-data together.

“Updated information and documentation will allow for better protection and assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in Rwanda, but also will contribute to the better planning by the Government, UNHCR and relevant stakeholders dealing with refugees in Rwanda,” said the Minister of MIDIMAR, Hon. DE BONHEUR Jeanne d’Arc. 

In May of 2017, the Government of Rwanda and UNHCR signed an agreement governing sharing of data on identity of refugees in Rwanda, which has set the stage for the joint verification exercise in Rwanda.

The verification exercise is scheduled to start with urban refugees in Kigali and Huye before moving to the six refugee camps. UNHCR welcomes this progressive move by the Government which will lead to better refugee management, protection and assistance. 

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