BY ALICE NACHILEMBE
Zambia has been recognized as one of the African countries that has performed well in the integration of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) into the local communities.
The recognition was made by the African Union –AU- International Detention Coalition Africa Regional Coordinator, Junita Calder at the 3rd Africa Union Commission and National Human Rights Institutions Policy forum under the theme “National Human Rights Institutions contribution to durable solutions on forced displacements in Africa”.
Ms Calder said Zambia was a shining example of a country where refugee had been properly integrated in communities without any hostility from communities.
“Things work out well when the creation of parallel healthcare systems is avoided as can be seen in Zambia where a Lusaka based transit centre using UNHCR funding and coordinated by the Action Africa Help Zambia (AAHZ) was able to improve the infrastructure of the health centre, with the centre being opened to both refugees and the surrounding communities,” she said.
And speaking on the side lines of the Forum, Zambia’s Human Rights Commissioner Ms Yuyo Nachali Kambikambi who is representing Zambia said it was a great honor to be recognized as a country that was doing something right in the space of refugees and or internally displaced persons.
She said her institution was one that was created to promote and protect the human rights of all Zambians irrespective of colour, creed, religion or status.
“We find that most times this group of people are not just marginalized but are excluded because when people are displaced, not only will they be looking for shelter and food but they also lose their right to vote and are thus disenfranchised if not properly accounted for by the Governments and other stakeholder’’, she said.
She said while Countries looked at refugees from a security risk angle, there was need to look at this from a humanitarian angle in order to keep in line with the sustainable development goals and the UN resolution of leaving no-one behind.
This is contained in a statement issued by Inutu Mupango Mwanza First Secretary- Press/ Tourism Zambia Embassy, Addis Ababa Ethiopia.