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Upholding the rights of urban refugees in Uganda

Uganda is at the centre of current debate on urban refugees. The country’s Refugees Act 2006, which establishes refugees’ rights to live, work and own land in urban areas, has been hailed as exemplary and a global model for humanitarian responses. However, new evidence on refugee livelihoods in Kampala suggests that the rights to work and move freely, and without fear, are often unmet in urban areas. In the absence of financial assistance, urban refugees often struggle to find gainful employment and report frequent cases of discrimination by both the Ugandan state and the public. This briefing outlines the barriers to upholding the rights of urban refugees in Uganda, and recommends ways in which these may be overcome.

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Urban areas are increasingly the sites of humanitarian crises, from natural disasters to conflict and displacement. Through a programme of research, documenting and learning from experience and development of tools and approaches, IIED is working to build the knowledge and capacity to respond of humanitarian actors working in urban areas, and of urban actors facing humanitarian crises.

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Urban Crises Learning Fund