There are approximately 4000 refugees and asylum seekers in Namibia. A refugee is someone who has received refugee status (see page 2) and an asylum seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status but has not been granted refugee status yet. Most refugees living in Namibia currently have fled conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Burundi, Chad, and Mali. We published a short document on this topic written by Jasmijn de Zeeuw (LAC intern).
In 2018 the LAC through SJP received funding from UNHCR to provide legal services to refugees at Osire Refugee Settlement. The funding has been extended to 2019 and 2020.
SJP is responsible for providing legal services to residents of the settlements on all legal issues.
The SJP team travels to Osire regularly and has an office at the settlement where we operate from. We have successfully assisted many refugees with their applications for status and are currently assisting other applicants with different issues, relating to status determination, statelessness, S/GBV, and access to education.
In future SJP hopes to assist the refugees with divorce matters, to enable them to qualify for the resettlement programme under the UNHCR. The vulnerability of refugees as to their status and future necessitates a focused approach.