Non-refoulement: commentary on the proposed closure of Dadaab refugee camps
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Kenya has been hosting refugees since the 1960s with their population at the time being less than 5,000. Since then the number of refugees in the country has grown with Dadaab refugee camp being among the largest in the world. Changes in Kenya's refugee policies have been prompted by the debate on the balance between protection of refugee’s vis-a-vis security management. In May 2016 the government issued a directive ordering the closure of Dadaab refugee camp arguing that the camp was being used as a terrorism safety-net. Such a move can have a number effects including the possible violation of international laws following the principle of non-refoulement. Kenya is a signatory to a number of conventions, has the 2006 Refugee Act, and is also party to the Kenya-Somalia-UNHCR tripartite treaty which attempted to structure a procedure on how the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees would be done. In light of this, the government directive seemed like a rushed statement that does not abide by the rules and procedures set out in the aforementioned laws. This dissertation establishes a nexus between the duty of Kenya to uphold the laws governing refugee related issues, whether the government directive violated any such laws, and whether the directive was justified.