UNHCR’s core objectives are to provide refugees and other persons of concern with international protection, and seek durable solutions for them.
Ethiopia maintains open borders for those seeking protection, and among the over 761,000 refugees hosted as of the end of September 2016 there are approximately:
- 300,000 South Sudanese,
- 255,000 Somalis,
- 160,000 Eritreans,
- 39,000 Sudanese,
- 3,200 Kenyans,
- Small numbers from Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other countries.
Due to renewed conflict in South Sudan, Ethiopia had over 32,000 new arrivals from South Sudan in September, with hundreds continuing to arrive daily.
Ethiopia is a State party to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and has issued a National Refugee Proclamation in 2004.
However, Ethiopia did not accept the provisions on the right to wage earning employment and access to elementary education as legally binding, which restricts refugees’ access to the labour market.
Refugees do not have freedom of movement in Ethiopia and most reside in the 24 refugee camps or seven community based settlements. However approximately 19,150 are currently permitted to reside in urban areas either for medical, security or humanitarian reasons, or under the government’s Out of Camp policy, which allows Eritrean refugees who have the means to support themselves to live in Addis Ababa and other locations.
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