Investigating influence of socio economic and political factors on local integration of refugees in Kenya
Muthengi, Maureen Mukuta
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Forced migration is a global issue that has resulted to displacement of over sixty-eight million people from their countries due to violation of human rights, political tensions, civil war and armed conflict; forcing them to flee and seek asylum in another country in search of peace and security. Kenya among other countries has been hosting refugees since 1990. The study investigated the influence of socio-economic and political factors on local integration of refugees in Kenya. The study focused on two objectives, to determine the socio-economic factors influencing the local integration of refugees in Kenya and to establish the political factors affecting local integration of refugees in Kenya. The literature review section underlined the theories that supported the concept of local integration and refugee situations. The theories identified were, the exile and resettlement: refugee theory developed by Egon F. Kunz in 1973 and structural-functional theory by David Émile Durkheim in 1893. The research design that was used was descriptive survey that used questionnaires as the main data collection tool. The study targeted refugees that reside in Nairobi and Kakuma, Kenya. The sampling method used was snow balling where the identified refugee community leaders led the researcher together with the research assistants on the identification of the respondents based on their country of origin. Descriptive analysis was used, and findings were presented inform of mean and standard deviation for ease of understanding and interpretation. The findings demonstrated that socioeconomic factors do influence local integration of refugees in Kenya and political factors do affect local integration of refugees in Kenya. This concluded that there is a positive relation between socio-economic factors and political factors and their influence on local integration of refugees in Kenya. The study made recommendations concerning local integration to the government of Kenya, UNHCR, refugees, media and the researchers. Further research may be conducted on the impact of the KISEDP programme on refugees and the host community and its success on local integration.