HOST COMMUNITY AND REFUGEES INTERACTION

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This article echoes stories and perceptions of the hosts to the refugees in their day-to-day relations in Kakuma refugee camp with little emphasis on academic abstraction of refugee protection contained in international instruments but rather on the realities on the ground. It is argued that good refugee-host relations enhance refugees’ enjoyment of their rights under the international conventions and promote local integration. Nonetheless, this article discusses areas of conflict between refugees and their hosts and how these factors endanger refugees’ physical protection, and it echoes the hosts’ solutions to the conflicts.

The failure of local integration is attributed to poor refugee-host relations. Consequently, it is argued that even the enactment of refugee-specific legislation “that would give force” to the international conventions will not necessarily improve refugees’ enjoyment of their rights as long as, through a practice of selective compassion by humanitarian agencies and international refugees law. Refugees are targeted for assistance without regard to the negative aftermath on the local economy and its residents.

Despite the ethnographic and social scientific literature on social and economic implications of refugee camps for host communities and relevant conceptual and theoretical frameworks focusing on the intersections of political economy, energetics, and health. Here is a death of biosocial research assessing how these camps impact host community health or nutrition. Refugee camps are typically placed in remote areas, often alongside marginalized local populations. Given that such communities are already vulnerable, it is important to examine the full range of effects that a major influx of forced migrants can have on these populations

Additionally, host communities often grow to resent refugees in their area when they perceive refugee-centrism vast amounts of resources and services from the international humanitarian aid agencies going only to refugees, when often the host communities near refugee camps are themselves impoverished and marginalized.

The Turkana people have a long history of surviving in this harsh, arid environment, primarily as pastoralists. Still, approximately 85% of Turkana live below the poverty line-almost twice the national poverty rate, and they have experienced generations of stigmatization and oppression from governmental authorities.

The houses in the camp are mostly built by; mud bricks, wood, sticks and sometimes with canvas tents provided by the refugee aid organizations. Kakuma refugee camp was established first in 1992 to settle about 40,000 Sudanese youth commonly referred as “lost boys” who returned to Sudan from Ethiopia after the resignation and fleeing to exile of Mengistu Haile Mariam who was Ethiopia’s head of state.

The refugee-host affiliation has been labeled as one that is not attractive at all. The smooth operations of refugee aid organizations such as UNHCR is being hampered by bad refugee-host relations in their attempt to protect and seek permanent solutions to refugee-host good co-existence. Therefore, this study found it necessary to seek answers on what causes tensions and conflicts around the refugee camps right from the victims in this case the refugees and the host community.

The government often constructs refugee camps where the local host communities are more penurious and side-lined than the refugees themselves. The support that refugee get is far better than what the local host community get, for example delivery of relief food, access to resources and built structures many a times create violence between the two groups. Its however, our hope that a mutual lasting solution may be born one day.

Accordingly, the arrival of refugees to the host country brings with it economic, environmental, socio-cultural, and security challenges. The smooth operations of refugee aid organizations such as UNHCR is being hampered by bad refugee-host relations in their attempt to protect and seek permanent solutions to refugee-host good co-existence. Therefore, this study found it necessary to seek answers on what causes tensions and conflicts around the refugee camps right from the victims in this case the refugees and the host community.

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