Lessons from a Protracted Refugee Situation (Working Paper #74)
Nathaniel H. Goetz, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
Abstract: When refugees seek out the protection of another country, they often wish to eventually return home. However the number of protracted refugee situations around the world is increasing. In addition, the needs of refugees caught in such unfortunate circumstances also change over time. While refugee camps seek to grant basic human rights and protections, refugees living in protracted situations experience much difficulty. One way to alleviate such problems is to provide refugees with a means of economic self-sufficiency and eventual social integration. This presentation looks at the causes, consequences, and responses to protracted refugee situations. By analyzing first-hand documents from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) archives, Goetz explores the development and implementation of self-sufficiency and integration programs for Rwandese refugees in Burundi during the 1960s. He examines the lessons learned from this historical case and how they can be used to improve current refugee assistance programs.