The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says there are legal barriers hampering the actualisation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).
UNHCR Country Representative, Pierrine Aylara says the Commission has for this reason pledged to actualise the pledged to address a number of bottlenecks affecting refugees.
Ms Aylara says the CRRF has so many bottlenecks facing refugees who are still struggling due to some legal barriers.
ZANIS reports that the UNHCR Country Representative ac companied by Meheba Settlement Refugee Officer, Castrol Singelengele said this when she paid a courtesy call on acting Kalumbila district commissioner, Frank Siatwinda today.
“Many refugees are still struggling due to some legal barriers that we really need to come together and lift…but how do we actualise that pledge of the CRRF when we have so many bottlenecks, unless we lift those legislations, we are just turning in a vicious cycle.
“We should embrace a progressive model so that Zambia remains a flagship for hospitality. The CRRF is a progressive and inclusive approach which aims at making the refugees feel at home where they can also contribute substantively and qualitatively to the socio-economic platform of Kalumbila district,” Ms Aylara said.
She added that the CRRF must also be looked at from a perspective of tapping and developing the potential of refugees or people of concern.
And highlighting some challenges in implementing the CRRF, Mr Singelengele said the UNESCO qualifications passport where we are recognising the credentials for refugees.
“We identified a few challenges with the legislative pieces that are available when we are implementing the CRRF…there are these policies and laws that do not complement the approach of the CRRF, for example the UNESCO qualifications passport where we are recognising the credentials for refugees but when they go to look for a job, they are unable to find employment because they are told that they are still refugees,” he said.
Mr Singelengele pointed out that there is need to devise a best way to implement the CRRF on the ground in order to support both the refugees and former refugees in the settlement.
Meanwhile, acting Kalumbila district commissioner, Mr Siatwinda said his office cannot change the legal instruments but can only lobby for them to change.
He maintained that legal barriers in the implementation of the CRRF are an eye opener which require the engagement of other stakeholders to see how best the CRRF can be implemented with fewer negatives.