Uganda has been hosting refugees and asylum seekers since achieving its independence in 1962. The country has been praised for having one of the most progressive and generous refugee laws and policy regimes in the world. In fact, the 2016 United Nations Summit for Refugees declared Uganda’s refugee policy a model. The 2006 Refugee Act and 2010 Refugee Regulations allow for integration of refugees within host communities with refugees having access to the same services (education, health, water and sanitation) as nationals. They have freedom of movement and are free to pursue livelihood opportunities, including access to the labour market and to establish businesses.
To sustain and expand this progressive and generous out-of-camp refugee approach Uganda seeks to strengthen the resilience and self-reliance of refugees and their host communities. A key challenge facing Uganda is private sector engagement, to take advantage of the growing market and to leverage the additional human capital.