The Department of Refugee Affairs initially started as a unit and then a secretariat in the Ministry of Home Affairs until it was moved to the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons in February 2005.
The department draws its mandate from the Refugee Act 2006, the Presidential Circular number one and various conventions and protocols - the 1951 UN Convention on the status of refugees, the 1967 protocol on refugees and the 1969 OAU Convention governing specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa. Key functions of the department from the above mandate include:
- Registration and Refugee Status Determination (RSD).
- Coordination of provision of services (e.g. food, shelter, medicare, primary education safety and security guarantee).
- Maintenance of an appropriate registration and documentation system for asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya.
- Issuance of identification cards and movement passes to refugees in the country.
- Issuance of Conventional Travel Documents (refugee passports) to facilitate refugees travel
- Management of Refugee camps, reception and transit centres.
- Making recommendations for issuance of class M work permits to enable refugees work and engage in business for subsistence and issuing Exit stamps for those exiting Kenya.
- Co-ordination of assistance to host communities through micro-economic ventures.
More Information www.refugees.go.ke