The State of Refugees in Uganda

Uganda has a long history of hosting refugees, dating back to the aftermath of the Second World War, years before the country gained its independence from the British. This history has created a culture and perception of Uganda as a hospitable country to refugees. However, if we are to understand Uganda as a refugee hosting country, we need to be able to reckon with the origin of Uganda’s refugee policies and the implications that they continue to have on the country’s treatment of refugees. This report outlines and questions Uganda’s refugee hosting history; discusses challenges faced and offers solutions to the refugee problem whilst analyzing the policies that govern refugees and migration.

This report examines Uganda’s refugee history by focusing on the different refugee groups and migrants hosted in the country. We do this by focusing on the major historical events that led to the groups’ migration into Uganda. These major historical events draw our attention to the circumstances surrounding the arrival of the different groups and consequently the reception that these groups get in the country.

Additionally, we look at the challenges that come with hosting refugees and the solutions provided for those challenges. We take particular interest in discussing why these solutions have failed in Uganda. The discussion of why durable solutions for refugees in Uganda allows us to look into the origin of Uganda’s refugee policies and the role that the international refugee regime plays in shaping and influencing refugee policies in countries like Uganda.