January 18, 2019
Contact: Stacie Blake
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The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants applauds Ethiopia’s new refugee law allowing refugees to obtain work permits, access primary education, obtain drivers’ licenses, legally register life events such as births and marriages and open up access to national financial services, such as banking.
The changes were made on January 17, 2019 and position Ethiopia as one of the most forward thinking country hosting refugees today. Research has repeatedly shown that refugees and host countries benefit from fuller integration through access to rights and work.
“We saw the need for work permits and basic life documentation when visiting camps in Ethiopia in 2015 and made this specific recommendation in our report. We are very happy to see this direct action by the government to incorporate refugee rights into legislation,” said Eskinder Negash, President and CEO of USCRI. “My hope is for other refugee hosting countries to take similar steps and ensure refugees can live productive lives even if they are unable to return to their countries of origin.”
Ethiopia currently hosts over 900,000 refugees, primarily from South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as smaller numbers of refugees from Yemen and Syria.
The report can be found here.