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9 The Migration Debate In Kenya

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the current state of Kenyan migration; in particular forced migration, transit migration and labour migration. Kenyan government policy documents hardly addressed the issue of migration. A few remarks were made regarding the refugee situation of some 250 000 forced migrants who have settled in two main camps in the country. This encampment policy, implemented by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was recently relaxed by recognising the status of urban refugees. The growing importance of the migration debate in the country is illustrated in the recent establishment of a Ministry for Immigration and a new Refugee Department. Apart from forced migration, attention to issues of brain drain and remittances has recently been increasing. Kenya will need to deal with this issue as a top priority and harmonise its migration policies, both at home and in collaboration with other countries in the region and beyond.

Keywords:brain drain; forced migration; Kenya; labour migration; migration debate; migration policy; remittances; transit migration; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)



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