Ag. Commissioner for Refugee Affairs in his office at the RAS headquarters.
The RAS has a mandate to receive and register refugees in Kenya as enshrined in the constitution of Kenya and the Refugee Act 2006. Kenya has been playing host to over 600000 refugees in its two refugee camps of Dadaab and Kakuma.
The government is currently implementing its mandate in deciding where refugees will reside within Kenya. They are supposed to reside from the two designated camps of Kakuma and Dadaab. This is a directive from the government and any refugee found violating this ruling risks being prosecuted in a court of law.
However, the department in its modus operandi has a prerogative to exempt some refugees from being in the camp because of some pressing matters based on medical services, education, employment or business, resettlement, security threats, among other compelling reasons.
Refugee status is not permanent and therefore the government of Kenya continues to advocate for enabling environment for refugees to return home voluntarily as one of the best durable solutions. Currently, voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees is ongoing for those who voluntarily want to return to Somalia. This process is expected to take a period of three years.
Refugees are humans like us, they are real people. Therefore, we urge all Kenyans to treat refugees with the dignity and respect we have always done and support them when need be. We thank the Kenyan community for the hospitality they have accorded to refugees for decades while embracing and integrating them amongst our communities.
The department cannot stand alone in this monumental task. In this regard our partners and stakeholders play a big role in ensuring that refugees are well taken care of in the country. Our partners play different roles in refugee management, in providing humanitarian assistance and other services. We collaborate to support and seek solutions for refugees. The refugee problem is an international problem which requires international solutions and support.
We have qualified personnel who work tirelessly to achieve our vision and goals. I urge all employees and the public to foster teamwork and friendliness in discharging our mandate.