Background/A brief history
The influx of refugees in Kenya can be drawn back to a few years before independence during the struggle for self-rule in Africa. After independence, the government set up a secretariat in the then Ministry of Home Affairs to oversee documentation, registration and settlement programs for refugees. An inflow of refugees was experienced in Kenya in the early 1990s that were fleeing coups and other conflicts in neighboring countries of Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia among other countries.
The secretariat was later moved to the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons in February 2005 and consequently became a department through the Refugee Act of 2006. The ministry of state for immigration was renamed into Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government in the year 2013.
The Department of Refugee Affairs draws its mandate from the Refugee Act 2006 ,the Presidential Circular number 1 and various conventions and protocols among them–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.