Kenya is a hub for mixed migration within Sub-Saharan Africa, with refugees, trafficked persons, and irregular and economic migrants arriving from countries including Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Some 235,269 of these refugees and asylum seekers live in Dadaab refugee camp, which was established by the Kenyan government in 1991 as a temporary haven for people fleeing the fighting in neighbouring Somalia and is now the largest refugee camp in the world.
Andrew Maina is a Programme Officer for the Refugee Consortium in Kenya, a legal advocacy organisation working with refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) with offices in Nairobi as well as Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. In November 2017 Andrew attended RedR UK’s Proposal and Report Writing course in Nairobi, funded by XL Caitlin.
Andrew explains more about his role and how his organisation’s advocacy work is helping to support refugees and IDPS in Kenya:
"We offer legal aid in the form of legal representation in court of law or at detention centres such as police stations. We also offer advocacy and policy development services, which includes legal and policy review and advocating for changes through parliament or through amendments to policy.
Part of our work is undertaking strategic litigation, moving the courts to issue orders that address the gap or the lapse in policy in terms of the protection of human rights.
As the Programme Officer, I’m responsible for monitoring the protection situation within the country. We have a team of protection monitors, some are Kenyan nationals and some are refugees, who monitor the situation on the ground along the Kenya/Somalia border as well as in the refugee camps. The teams report on the ability of refugees or asylum seekers to access the country and whether they are being arrested or detained."