Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 14:54 GMT

Recommendations from the Pan-African Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa, Arusha (Tanzania)

Publisher Regional Refugee Instruments & Related
Author Africa; Others
Publication Date 17 May 1979
Related Document Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa ("OAU Convention")
Cite as Regional Refugee Instruments & Related, Recommendations from the Pan-African Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa, Arusha (Tanzania), 17 May 1979, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b37214.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
Comments Adopted at the Pan-African Conference on the situation of refugees in Africa in Arusha, 7-17 May 1979.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 INTRODUCTION 

The International Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa which took for its theme the notion that "the granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act"-was held, at the invitation of the Tanzanian Government, in the international conference centre at Arusha (Tanzania) from 7 to 17 May 1979.  

 During this Conference, all parties concerned with the refugee problem, including Governments, intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, undertook, in a purely humanitarian spirit, a global review of the refugee situation in Africa and sought ways and means to improve it. 

 The recommendations published in this pamphlet are the most substantial result of the so-called Arusha Conference; they cover all aspects of the refugee problem and bear witness to the African tradition of hospitality. 

 Five years after the Arusha Conference, implementation of the recommendations drawn up and adopted by the participants and endorsed by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity remains incomplete. 

 The distribution of this brochure aims to remind each State, each organization, each man of good-will, of the necessity and urgency of according the refugee his rightful place on the African continent. 

 Antoine Noël

Head of the Regional Bureau for Africa

UNHCR 

 August 1984 

 I.      RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE 

 Recommendation 1 Asylum in Africa The Conference, 

 1.           Recognizes that while on the international level asylum is still a right of the State, some progress had been made in the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention in the direction of strengthening the position of the individual in relation to asylum; 

 2.           Stresses the fundamental importance, in the field of Human Rights of the various principles relating to asylum as defined in the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention and other relevant international instruments and appeals to Member States of the OAU to implement these principles; 

 3.           Reaffirms the need to ensure the increased effectiveness of these principles through their incorporation into the national law of African States in accordance with their respective constitutional systems; 

 4.           Reaffirms the principle expressed in Article II, paragraph 2 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention that the granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act and should not be regarded as unfriendly by any State.; 

 5.           Stresses the importance of the scrupulous observance of the principle of non-refoulement expressed in various international instruments and notably in Article II, paragraph 3 of the OAU Refugee Convention which prohibits measures such as rejection at the frontier, return or expulsion, which would compel a refugee to return to or remain in a territory where he has reason to fear persecution, and recommends that this principles be incorporated, as appropriate, in the national law of African States; 

 6.           condemns the existence and conclusion of agreements of whatever kind concluded between African States permitting the forcible return of refugees to their country of origin, contrary to the principles of asylum as prescribed, inter alia in the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention. 

 7.           Notes with concern that there has been several cases in which African refugees, upon return to their country of origin have been subjected to serious measures of persecution including imprisonment and loss of life and recommends that an earnest appeal be addressed to Governments of countries of origin to respect any guarantees of safety given to refugees with a view to encouraging their voluntary repatriation; 

 8.           Recognizes that the effective implementation in African of the principles relating to asylum will be further advanced by the strengthening and development of institutional arrangements for "burden sharing" adopted within the framework of African solidarity and international co-operation, defined in paragraph 8 of the Preamble and Article II, paragraph 4 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention; 

 9.           Further recommends that various studies be made on a regional basis with a view to determining the particular burdens facing countries of first asylum in African and the extent to which such burdens could be shared within the framework of African solidarity; 

 10.         Stresses the particular importance of the concept of temporary asylum as provided for in Article II, paragraph 5 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention and of the need for this concept to be further strengthened and developed in Africa; 

 11.         condemns strongly bombing attacks and other atrocities against refugees and refugee settlements in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols of 1977 as well as the abduction of refugees, and urges the international community to take all possible measures to prevent such violations and to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to present and potential victims. 

 Recommendation 2 Definition of the Term "Refugee" and Determination of Refugee Status The Conference, 

 1.           Recognizes the definitions of the term "refugee" contained in Article I, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention as the basis for date determining refugee status in Africa; 

 2.           Stresses the essential need for ensuring that African refugees are identified as such, so as to enable them to invoke the rights established for their benefit in the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol and the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention; 

 3.           Recommends that individual applications for asylum be examined under appropriate procedures established for this purpose and appeals to African States to apply, in such procedures, the basic requirements specified in the conclusions adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-eighth session;   [1]    

 4.           Considers, however, that the application of such procedures might be impracticable in the case of large-scale movements of asylum-seekers in Africa, a matter which calls for the setting up of special arrangements for identifying refugees; 

 5.           Recommends that the exact nature of such arrangements be the subject of further study but stresses that they should in any event (a) provide for appeal or review where refugee status is refused, (b) ensure that individuals are protected by virtue of the principle of non-refoulementexpressed in Article II of the OAU Refugee Convention; 

 6.           Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to undertake a comprehensive in-depth study of the type of procedures for special arrangements envisaged and, if appropriate, to co-operate in their implementation; 

 7.           Recognizes the importance of UNHCR's own responsibility to determine refugee status under its Statute, so as to ensure that asylum-seekers who are refused refugee status by the host country but might nevertheless be refugees of concern to UNHCR, receive adequate protection until an appropriate solution is found. 

 Recommendation 3 Illegal entry, Expulsion and Problems Raised by the Concept of Prohibited Immigrants. The Conference, 

 1.           Takes note of the relevant provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol and the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention, concerning illegal entry, expulsion and non-refoulement; 

 2.           Stresses the importance of refugees not being subject to penalties for illegal entry or presence, or to related measures of detention, in circumstances other than those permitted by Article 31 of the 1951 Refugee Convention; 

 3.           Considers that in view of the special situation in which they find themselves, refugees should not be subjected to national legislative of administrative provisions relating to prohibited immigrants; 

 4.           Further stresses that refugees lawfully in the territory of a Contraction State may not be expelled expect under the conditions provided for in Article 32 of the 1951 Convention. 

 Recommendation 4 Treatment of Refugees: Detention, Imprisonment and Acts Directed Against the Personal Safety of Refugees The Conference, 

 1.           Takes note of the various problems arising in connexion with the detention and imprisonment of refugees in African countries; 

 2.           Expresses concern that such measures of detention of imprisonment are in many cases not subject to ordinary administrative or judicial remedies and recommends that such practices be discouraged and that study of this matter be made, so as to ensure that the basic rights of refugee including those in the field of Human Rights, are fully guaranteed; 

 3.           Noted that in the case of members of liberation movements, recognized by the OAU, who have come into conflict with such movements, the question of their detention or imprisonment by the authorities of the host country, involved special problems and recommends that appropriate solutions for these problems, taking into account the necessity to alleviate the burden of the frontline States, be sought in a humanitarian spirit within the African context. 

 Recommendation 5 Treatment of Refugees: Movement of Refugees The Conference, 

 1,           Noted the economic and political difficulties confronting African States in solving refugee problems; 

 2.           Recommends, nevertheless, that the movement of refuges especially for purposes of study, professional training or resettlement in other country, be facilitated by African States in a spirit of African unity, in conformity with the charter of the OAU, and international solidarity. 

 3.           Stresses the importance of facilitating such refugee movements, having regard to: 

 (a)          Article 28 of the 1951 Refugee Convention and Article VI of the 1969 OAU Refuge Convention concerning the issue of travel documents to refugees; 

 (b)          The various resolution of the OAU concerning movements of refugees, including Resolution 489 of a August 1976; 

 4.           Recommends that African states taken all necessary steps to facilitate the movement of refugees. 

 Recommendation 6 Treatment of Refugees Rights and Obligations of Refugees and States of Asylum The Conference, 

 1.           Stresses the importance, in the African context, of international solidarity and co-ordination with a view to resolving the legal problems of refugees, in particular in the fields of gainful employment and public education; 

 2.           Recommends that with a view to facilitating the effective implementation of the 1951 Refugee Convention Article 17 and 22 dealing respectively with gainful employment and public education: 

 (a)          African States consider the possibility of providing, under their respective legislation or through arrangements with other States, work and employment opportunities for refugees who do not have access to gainful employment in their country of first asylum; 

 (b)          a study be made of the legal problems facing refugees in regard to employment and education; 

 (c)          refugee children be accorded the same treatment as nationals with respect to elementary education as provided for in the 1951 Refugee Convention article 22, Paragraph 1 and the African States make every effort to ensure that refugee are given access to secondary and technical education; 

 (d)          African states give further consideration to arrangements for providing refugees with higher education facilities either in their present country of asylum or elsewhere; 

 3.           Noted the provisions of the 1960 OAU Refugees Convention Article V concerning voluntary repatriation, and stresses the importance of voluntary repatriation as a solution to refugee problems. Recommends that appeals for repatriation and related guarantees given by countries of origin should be made known by every possible means to refugees and displaced persons; 

 4.           Recommends that UNHCR be called upon, as appropriate, to participate in the arrangement for the voluntary repatriation of refugees; 

 5.           Notes the provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention Article 34 concerning naturalization of refugees and stresses the importance of naturalization as a solution for African refugee problems in cases where voluntary repatriation can no longer be envisaged and where refugees have attained a sufficient degree of integration in their asylum country; 

 6.           Notes the obligation of refugees defined in the 1969 Refugee Convention Article III to conform with the laws and regulations of the country in which they find themselves and to abstain from any subversive activities against any Member State of the OAU; 

 7.           Further notes that obligation of Member States defined in the OAU 1969 Refugee Convention Article III to prohibit refugees residing in their territory from attacking any Member State of the OAU by any activity likely to cause tension between Member states, and the obligation defined in Article II, paragraph 6 of the same Convention, as far as possible to settle refugees at a reasonable distance from the frontier of their country of origin; 

 8.           Affirms that where problems arise in the case of refugees who are members of Liberation Movements recognized by the OAU and who come into conflict with their movement, their status as refugee should continue to be respected, subject to the 1960 OAU Refugee Convention Article I, paragraph 5c. Nevertheless, recommends that the question of dissidents from the Liberation Movements be studied in depth and that arrangements be envisaged to ensure that the pursuit of the liberation struggle is not adversely affected by such dissidents. 

 Recommendation 7 Accession to, and Implementation of, International Instruments Concerning Refugees and International Solidarity The Conference, 

 1.           Calls upon African States which have not done so to become parties to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and to the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa; 

 2.           Considers that it was a necessary corollary to States becoming parties to these instruments and the standards defined therein be incorporated in their national legislation; 

 3.           Recommends fuller co-operation between OAU Member states and the Administrative Secretary-General of the OAU, in order to foster the implementation of Article VII of the OAU Refugee Convention; 

 4.           Reaffirms the principle that human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination, and emphasized the need for the legal problems of refugees to be viewed in the wider context of respect for Human rights, and to this end: 

 (a)          calls upon all African States which have not done so, to accede to and implement the various Human Rights instruments adopted within the framework of the United Nations; 

 (b)          calls upon African States to participate in the Seminar scheduled to be held in 1979 pursuant to General Assembly resolution 33/167 of 20 December 1978 to consider the desirability of establishing an African Human Rights Commission; 

 (c)          recommends that UNHCR also be invited to participate in the work of the proposed Seminar. 

 Recommendation 8 Dissemination of Refugees Law The Conference, 

 1.           Recommends the establishment under the auspices of the OAU, UNHCR and UNESCO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Division of Human Rights), of an African centre to deal with the following functions in regard to refugee law, humanitarian law and Human Rights: 

 (a)          to arrange for teaching, training, dissemination and research in matters relating to refugee law, humanitarian law and Human Rights; 

 (b)          to study the implementation of international instruments and to arrange for their dissemination in Africa at the national, sub-regional and regional levels; 

 (c)          to centralize the relevant documentation; 

 (d)          to organize meeting and seminars with a view to a better understanding of rights and obligations of refugees; 

 2.           Recommends that with a view to promoting a wider and better understanding of the provisions of the various international instruments on refugees, Human Rights and humanitarian law, Governments undertaken to arrange for their dissemination in the most appropriate manner and, as far as possible, in national languages. 

 Recommendation 9 Causes for Asylum-seeking in Africa The Conference. 

 1.           Agrees that every effort should be made towards implementing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People; 

 2.           Stresses that any direct or indirect economic military or political support of the racist minority regimes in southern Africa should be totally withdrawn; 

 3.           Confirms that African Governments and peoples should step up their actions to support and strengthen the efforts of the liberation movements in their fight to eliminate the racist régimes in southern Africa in order to alleviate the sufferings of the Africans who are victims of the apartheid régimes; 

 4.           Calls upon governments and refugees-serving organizations to consider providing more assistance to the Front-line States to enable them to defend their territories, refugee camps, settlements and indigenous population against raids by the racist régime of southern Africa; 

 5.           Appeals to all African Governments to make every effort to fully implement the basic instruments relation to Human Rights, namely, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, and to include the provisions of international instruments dealing with human rights and refugee problems in their national legislations; 

 6.           Invites all African Governments to launch, possibly with the aid of modern communication techniques, an educational campaign to instill respect for human rights and tolerance of differences into all the peoples of the various nationalities in African countries whatever social, cultural, economic or political differences may exist between them; 

 7.           Calls upon all African Governments to consider making official public declarations of amnesty to their respective nationals currently in exile, so as to encourage their voluntary repatriation. Guarantees for safe return and machinery to supervise such guarantees to be considered and worked out both by the countries of origin and the countries of asylum in co-operation with the OAU, the refugee-serving agencies and the refugees concerned or their representatives; 

 8.           Invites the OAU to make a declaration to the effect that granting of amnesty should be held sacrosanct and inviolate. 

 Recommendation 10 Rural Refugees The Conference, 

 1.           Stresses that programmes covering rural refugees should be planned and implemented within the context of national, sub-regional and regional development endeavours, with the objective of getting refugees out of charity situations into a position of integrated development and self-reliance; 

 2.           Further stresses that the preparation of such programmes should include: 

 (a)          the agencies potentially providing aid, either as donors or as implementing partners, and the appropriate national and local authorities of the host country; 

 (b)          provisions for immediate needs such as food, clothing, shelter, water, health and social services (including education), a programme for agricultural development, which will necessitate physical planning of the settlement area, including long-term agricultural viability; 

 3.           Emphasized that, in order to achieve integrated settlement, the following components must be taken into account; 

 (a)          an adequate knowledge by planners and administrators of the potential of the district or province as a whole, and the potential of the refugee settlement in relation to the district or province; 

 (b)          a sound programme of increasing agricultural and related production to provide a surplus, which can be converted into cash for personal needs such as clothing, household goods, etc., and which, when marketed, will form a basis for taxation; 

 (c)          effective refugee integration into the economic structure of the host community through co-operatives for production and marketing, etc. this integration should include vocational training related to the planned manpower needs of the host Government. It is advisable to make such training schemes available both to the refugees and to the local population in the same area; 

 (d)          effective involvement of refugees in the integration and development process. 

 4.           Recalls that officials administering refugee affairs in countries of asylum should be encouraged to make exchange visits to settlements where tried and tested methods have resulted in successfully integrated refugee communities. The possibility that financial assistance for such visits from international sources be included as part of refugee assistance should be envisaged. Seminars associated with such exchange of experience related to refugee work are also recommended. 

 5.           Further recalls that governmental and non-governmental agencies should not always insist on visits to refugee camps as a precondition for giving aid since some of the refugee camps might be in sensitive areas which, for security reasons, host Governments will not wish outsiders to visit. 

 6.           Recognize that, as a preset more than 60 per cent of Africa's rural refugees live outside organized settlement schemes, studies of the social, educational and economic situation of rural refugees outside organized settlement schemes should be undertaken by the Governments in co-operation with the appropriate international and non-governmental organizations with a view to providing Governments and international organizations with the basic information necessary to formulate programmes of assistance and to security the necessary financial support to implement such programmes. 

 Recommendation 11 Urban Refugees The Conference, 

Invite African Governments having large urban refugee populations together with the UNHCR and inter-governmental organizations and voluntary agencies concerned, a well as with representative of refugees, and where applicable of liberation movements,  

 (a)          to study in detail the problem of urban refugees and recommend appropriate action; 

 (b)          to co-ordinate their efforts and involvement and create a strategy to deal with these problems. Such a strategy could include the establishment of a reception centre or a similar institution: 

 i)            to give emergency care; 

 ii)           to identify problems of refugee; 

 iii)           to provide counselling as regards placement, education, employment, etc. 

 (c)          to search for means of controlling rural exodus, and examine suitable ways of resettling some of the urban refugees in rural areas; 

 (d)          to study in depth supplementary assistance programmes which are initiated by inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations (i.e. levels, durations, etc., of the aid) in order to formulate a policy which will take into account the cost of living index in the host country; 

 (e)          expand, wherever possible, existing facilities of education and housing to enable Governments to cater for the needs of refugees; 

 (f)           to consider creating sponsorship programmes whereby individuals and national organizations will be encouraged to assist by way of offering hospitality and job opportunities to refugees during their early days of immigration to the host country; 

 (g)          to exert greater effort to build up the additional formal educational opportunities required and such non-formal programmes of skills training or up-grading geared to speed up the process towards self-support; 

 (h)          to bear in mind that, as refugee integration within countries of asylum is a process which is to be mutually borne by the local population and the urban refugee groups in various communities, refugee guidance should be matched by local awareness and acceptance, a task which both Governments and all other agencies serving urban refugees should take note of in building local service units. 

 Recommendation 12 General Recommendations Related to Rural and Urban Refugees The Conference, 

 1.           Invites host Governments and the inter-governmental agencies concerned, 

 (a)          to give consideration to ways and means of reaching as promptly as possible an accurate assessment of a new refugee situation in its early stages; 

 (b)          to give consideration to borrowing arrangements from Government stocks or existing aid reserves, where available, during the emergency phases, in order to minimise delays that occur in delivering food supplies from external sources; 

 2.           Appeals to all agencies concerned, whether inter-governmental or non-governmental, to undertake, within the activities they are planning for the International Year of the Child, studies related to the specific needs of refugee children, drawing on the valuable knowledge and experience of the UNHCR, with a view to formulating recommendations for future actions; 

 3.           Stresses that, in view of the manpower requirements of Africa all efforts should be made to: 

 (a)          create as far as possible equal educational and employment opportunities for refugees and for nationals; 

 (b)          strengthen the BPEAR; 

 (c)          create employment opportunities; 

 (d)          establish re-training programmes. 

 4.           Calls upon UNHCR to go beyond its present temporary and short-term assistance policies. To this end, assistance programmes related to the socio-economic development of regions inhabited by refugees who cannot be repatriated should evolve with the support of the UNHCR and other refugee-serving agencies. 

 Recommendation 13 Employment, Education and Training of Refugees in Africa The Conference, 

 1.           Stresses that national and regional employment surveys at present under ways within the ILO/JASPA project should be expanded to encompass comprehensive manpower studies with long-term projections, with a view to enabling the formulation, when required, of well conceived and articulated refugee assistance programmes geared, through appropriate education and training, towards refugee placement in jobs known to be, at least provisionally, secure. Such country manpower and employment monographs could, with the consent of the Governments concerned, be entrusted to be undertaken by ECA, IBRO, OAU/BPEAR and other organizations, together with the ILO and its ongoing JASPA project; 

 2.           Invites the African Governments to endeavour to make the necessary provisions inter alia through the granting of entry, residence and work permits, for the employment and resettlement of refugees in their respective countries. In that connexion, the various problems posed by the employment of refugees and the effect of existing national legislation upon their circumstances should be identified and appropriate solutions sought at the sub-regional and regional levels. As far as possible, all African Governments should endeavour to take appropriate measures to guarantee to refugees equality of opportunity and treatment with nationals with respect to training, employment and conditions of life in general. 

 3.           Emphasizes that refugees, particularly those from southern Africa, who have benefited from scholarships awarded to them for further studies, should be encouraged to return to join their people after completion of their training to utilize the skills acquired by them for the advancement of the liberation struggle of their respective countries and in the service of other refugees from their countries of origin. 

 4.           Requests the Administrative Secretary-General of the OAU to take all possible measures to ensure that the BPEAR fulfils its mandate, and to that effect, that it is appropriately strengthened to provide the effective organizational apparatus required to arrange for the prompt placement of refugees, once settlement and employment opportunities are made available to them within the African continent. 

 5.           Invites all OAU Member States to co-operate with the BPEAR by providing information required by the BPEAR in respect of refugee situation, and opportunities for education and employment available in their respective countries. 

 6.           Stresses that urgent consideration should be given to measure leading to the creation of employment opportunities for refugees as well as to the promotion of self-employment projects. 

 7.           Recall that arrangements should be made to meet the need for retraining refugees to help them acquire necessary skills, as well as the need for planning educational and training programmes for refugees in a well-co-ordinate d manner, bearing in mind the manpower requirements in the region, so as to facilitate the employment of refugees. 

 8.           Stresses that increased attention should be paid to programmes that may benefit the training, education and employment of women who suddenly assume the role of mother and bread winner. 

 9.           Calls upon African Governments to continue to increase their help to refugees, by providing access to national educational institutions and to appropriate vocational guidance and placement services. 

 10.         Confirms that there should be programmes of institutional support to educational institutions in Africa in addition to programmes of scholarship support to refugees, in order to develop the school system in recipient countries while obtaining concessions for refugees admission. 

 11.         Calls upon the major scholarship-awarding agencies to meet under the auspices of the Co-ordinating Committee of the OAU-BPEAR to co-ordinate policies (on rates, other benefits, criteria for termination) in order to avoid duplication. 

 12.         Requests that a fully-fledged study be undertaken as a co-operative effort between governmental and non-governmental agencies, under the auspices of the Co-ordinating Committee of the OAU, to review the real effect and impact of the scholarship assistance provided during past years. 

 13.         Urges the universities and other educational institutions to charge the same fees to refugees and to nationals. 

 14.         Calls for appropriate and immediate consideration to be given to special language courses to be organized in host countries for refugees arriving from different language areas. 

15.          Urges all non-African Governments, in a spirit of international solidarity.  

 (a)          to adopt a more liberal attitude towards the admittance and resettlement of African refugees in countries outside Africa, especially those who will benefit from studies outside the African continent; 

 (b)          to mount an expanded education programme to cater for African refugee students, for whom suitable placement cannot be found in Africa. 

 16.         Calls upon the OAU/BPEAR in co-operation with UNECA to review the 1967 UNECA list of priorities for education. 

 17.         Emphasizes that greater attention should be paid to the training of trainers in relation both to liberation movement programmes, and educational programmes oriented towards refugees in general. 

 Recommendation 14 Refugee Counselling Services The Conference, 

 1.           Recommends that counselling services should be provided with appropriately trained counsellors. Only persons with the relevant basic qualifications should be entrusted with the responsibility of assisting refugees to meet their immediate needs and help them plan their future realistically. 

 2.           Stresses that counsellors should be provided with orientation courses on refugee problems and needs, on procedures to be followed by refugees in the country of asylum, as well as on other relevant issues. 

 3.           Emphasizes that in-service training in various forms should be made available to counsellors, and should concentrate on up-grading their skills and generally enabling them to continue to develop professionally. Well-prepared seminars should be organized periodically involving counsellors from more than one country to permit an exchange of ideas and experience. 

 4.           Confirms that counsellors should have the benefit of professional supervision. 

 5.           Further confirms that handbooks should be prepared by the OAU/BPEAR in co-operation with the UNHCR and other agencies concerned to meet the distinctive requirements of: 

 (a)          refugees 

 (b)          counsellors 

 (c)          immigration officers and other Government officials. 

 The handbooks should provide basic information on matters affecting refugees such as: 

 (a)          the rights and obligations of refugees; 

 (b)          the functions of refugee-serving agencies; 

 (c)          eligibility procedures for refugees; 

 (d)          asylum; 

 (e)          work permits, employment opening and educational opportunities. 

 6.           Recognizes that the refugees and, where applicable, the national liberation movements, should be given the opportunity to be more directly involved in counsellign services. 

 7.           Invites the Governments to initiate, where appropriate and in co-operation with UNHCR and other intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies, a comprehensive survey of refugee counselling services with a view to improving existing services or establishing new ones. 

 8.           Confirms the need to include "refugee situations and problems" in curriculum of schools of social work. As an interim measure, orientation courses on refugee problems and needs should be set up on an ad hoc basis for those who are currently involved in refugees counselling services. 

 9.           Further confirms that national social services should be encouraged to enlarge their field of activity to include refugee issues and problems, and be assisted in such a way that they could gradually take over the responsibility of providing counselling services to refugees in their countries. 

 10.         Notes that, where appropriate, counselling services should be operated jointly by the Governments, UNHCR and organizations and agencies concerned with refugee work. 

 Recommendation 15 Policy Issues and Administrative Problems The Conference, 

 1.           Recognizing the importance of the essence of the humanitarian element of the international conventions on refugees, calls upon all OAU Member States which have not yet done so, to accede to the United Nations Convention of 1951, the Protocol of 1967 and the OAU convention of 1969, and to proceed to enact-or where it may be the case, amend-national legislations according to these international instruments to secure a speedy recognition of refugees as individuals as well as in groups, where necessary. 

 2.           Stresses that, in connexion with such recognition, an identification document should be issued to refuges, to grant them protection and basic rights and to enable Governments to assess the extent of the refugee population in their countries. 

 3.           Noting with concern the increasing number of African refugees, aware of the fact that no programme of assistance for refugees can succeed without clearly defined policies of governments, and bearing in mind that agencies desirous of finding ways and means of alleviating the misery and sufferings of refugees, as well as of providing them with assistance depend on Governments to take the lead: 

 (a)          Urges all African Governments to et up as soon as possible national refugee machinery, where it does not already exist; 

 (b)          and recommends that the mandate of such a national machinery should include: 

 i)            defining and implementing under its supervision national policies for assistance to refugees; 

 ii)           advising on the enactment and amendment, whenever needed, of national refugee legislation which would constitute an essential instrument for the protection of, and assistance to refugees; 

 iii)           acting as a focal point for the co-ordination of assistance programme at the national level in co-operation with all concerned with, and involve refugee problems; 

 iv)          promoting and assisting the creation of refugee counselling services or strengthening the refugee counselling services where they already exist. 

 4.           Calls upon all OAU Member States, UNHCR, other intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies involved in refugee work to give more assistance and support o the OAU/BPEAR so that it can discharge its responsibilities as originally entrusted to it. 

 5.           Emphasizes that the follow up of the implementation of the recommendations of this conference, will be the primary responsibility of the OAU, working in co-operation with the UNHCR, in accordance with the provision of the Agreement of co-operation signed between the two organizations. Member States of OAU, UNHCR and other intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies who have substantial assistance programme to African refugees as one of their major functions, and who are responsible for the actual implementation of the recommendations, shall keep the Secretary-General of the OAU constantly informed of their work in this regard, and that the Secretary-General of the OAU may convene, as appropriate, consultative meetings for agencies concerned with the implementation of the recommendations, and shall submit periodically progress reports on the implementation of the recommendations to the OAU Council of Ministers. 

 Recommendation 16 Special Recommendation Submitting the Report of the Conference to the OAU council of Ministers The Conference, 

Having adopted the preceding recommendations on the situation of refugees in Africa,  

 Requests  the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity to take the decisions required to have them effectively implemented in the spirit of African solidarity. 

 II.    RESERVATIONS 

The following reservations were made in respect of the recommendation adopted on legal and protection problems:  

 i)            The Delegation of Somalia made a reservation to the application of paragraph 7 of the Recommendation 6 to exceptional situations where homogeneous people of the same national character are arbitrarily divided by artificial colonial frontiers. 

 ii)           The Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania made reservation in respect of Recommendation 6 on treatment of Refugees; rights and Obligations of Refugees and States of Asylum to the effect that in order to indicate that it was a responsibility of all States in African to accept burden sharing as an obligation, it should include the following paragraph: 

 "Recommends that various studies be made on a regional basis with a view to determining the particular burdens facing countries of first asylum in Africa and the extent to which such burdens could be shared within the framework of African solidarity, and in accordance with paragraph 8 of the Preamble to, and Article II, paragraph 4 of the OAU Refugee Convention". 

 iii)           The Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania also made a reservation in respect of paragraph 8, second sentence of Recommendation 6 considering that once it was established that a dissident from a liberation movement was excluded from refugee status under Article I, paragraph 5 (c) of the OAU Refugee Convention, and further action that might be taken in regard to him was not a matter to be dealt with in the context of a resolution dealing with refugees. 

 iv)          The Delegation of Algeria made a reservation in respect of paragraph 4 (a) of Recommendation 7 on Accession to, and Implementation of, International Instruments Concerning Refugees and International Solidarity reasoning that in spite of the fact Algeria has accede to the most pertinent Conventions relating to Human Rights, for political reasons, it felt that certain dispositions of some international instruments mentioned in the relevant paragraph concern the economical and social politics of each country and for these reasons it could not associate itself with the recommendations concerning the accession to these instruments. 

 v)           The Delegation of the Revolutionary People's Republic of Guinea made a reservation in respect to paragraph 4 (a) of Recommendation 7. The Delegation of Guinea was of the opinion that the use of the concept of Human Rights on the international political scene is incompatible with the rights of peoples and furthermore, used a a weapon of perturbing the process of a harmonious historic evolution of independent African States. 

 Further reservations were formulated by Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and guinea on article V of Recommendation 9 on causes for asylum-seeking in Africa. 

 III.  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE OAU COUNCIL OF MINSTERS 

 Resolution on the Situation of Refugees in Africa and on Perspective Solutions to their Problems in the 1980's CM/RES. 727 (XXXIII) 

The Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity meeting in its  Thirty-third Ordinary Session in Monrovia, Liberia, from 6 to 20 July 1979, 

 Recalling  its resolutions CM/RES. 621 (XXXI) and CM/RES. 694 (XXXII) on the Arusha Refugee Conference, 

 Having carefully  considered the report of the Arusha Conference of Refugee situation in Africa which convened from 7 to 17 May 1979, 

 Deeply concerned  by the constant deterioration of the living condition and by the ever increasing number of African refugees, 

 Recalling once again  the principles enshrined in the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa and more particularly the fact that "granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act and shall not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any Member States"; 

 1.           WELCOMES the convening of the Conference held from 7-17 May 1979 on the situation of African Refugees; 

 2.           FULLY ENDORSES the repot and recommendations adopted by the 1979 Arusha Conference on the situation of refugees in Africa; 

 3.           CALLS UPON OAU Member States concerned to enact amnesty, law and/or proclamations in order to facilitate voluntary repatriation of African Refugees; 

 4.           CALLS UPON all Member States to refrain from taking measures that would aggravate the refugee problem; 

 5.           URGES all OAU member States to consider ways and means of translating the principle of burden-sharing into action by inter-alia accepting a number of refugees in their countries; 

 6.           INVITES the Secretary-General to establish with the assistance and cooperation of the UN and its specialised agencies, an Ad-Hoc working group whose mandate will be to study the possibilities and conditions for participation of African States in burden-sharing; 

 7.           REQUESTS the Secretary-General to take urgent and appropriate action to restructure and strengthen the OAU Bureau for Refugees, to enable it to assume the responsibilities it has to shoulder, and to report to the Thirty-Fourth Ordinary Session of the Council on the action taken; 

 8.           FURTHER INVITES the UN and its specialised agencies, having specific refugee programmes, as well as intergovernmental, international and regional organisation, and voluntary agencies involved in refugee work, to pursue and intensify their activities and programmes in support of African refugees, and to promote effective cooperation among their respective central and field/branch offices, for the benefit of the refugees; 

 9.           CONGRATULATES the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations for having increased the African membership of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; 

 10.         FURTHER CONGRATULATES the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the resources it has so far allocated to alleviate problems facing African refugees and appeals to it to sustain and increase its assistance in support of the increased population of African refugees; 

 11.         REQUESTS the African Group at the United Nations to take necessary measures to ensure that all organisations engaged in refugee work in Africa comply with the OAU 1969 Convention on refugees in addition to existing legal instruments on refugees. 

 IV.  PARTICIPANTS 

The conference was attended by 38 delegations representing the following African participating countries;  

 Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Empire, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia: 

And by observers from 5 African Liberation Movements namely the following:  

 African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), SWAPO, ZANU/PF, ZAPU/PF; 

From 20 non-African countries:  

 Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Federal Republic of, Holy See (Vatican), India Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Yugoslavia; 

From the following 16 inter-governmental international and regional organization:  

 Organization of African Unity (OAU), Food and Agriucltural Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNESCA),United Nations Educational Training Programme for southern Africa (UNETPSA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Division of Human Rights, United Nations Council for Namibia, United Nations Institute for Namibia, Commonwealth Secretariat, European Economic Community (EEC); 

And from 37 non-governmental organizations and refugee-serving agencies whose list includes:  

 African-American Institute (AAI), all Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), Amnesty International, Brot für die Welt (West Germany), Canadian Council of Churches, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Christian Aid (British Council of Churches), Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ), church World Service (CWS) (USA), CORSO New Zealand, Council of Swaziland Churches, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Euro-Action Acord, Ford foundation, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), International Defence &Aid fund for Southern Africa (IDAF), International Rescue Committee (IRC), International Social Service (ISS), International University Exchange Fund, Joint Refugee Service of Kenya (JRSK), League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Norwegian church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), OXFAM-United Kingdom,. Radda Barnen (Swedish save the Children federation), Students and Academiciens International Relief Organization (SAIH-Norway), Standing Conference on Refugee (United Kingdom), Swedish Free Church Aid, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), World Council of Churches (WCC), World University Service (WUS), World Yong Women's Christian Association (YWCA). 

   

  

   [1]    See Official Records of the General Assembly of the U.N. Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/32/12Add.1, para 53 (6)(e)).

 INTRODUCTION 

The International Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa which took for its theme the notion that "the granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act"-was held, at the invitation of the Tanzanian Government, in the international conference centre at Arusha (Tanzania) from 7 to 17 May 1979.  

 During this Conference, all parties concerned with the refugee problem, including Governments, intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, undertook, in a purely humanitarian spirit, a global review of the refugee situation in Africa and sought ways and means to improve it. 

 The recommendations published in this pamphlet are the most substantial result of the so-called Arusha Conference; they cover all aspects of the refugee problem and bear witness to the African tradition of hospitality. 

 Five years after the Arusha Conference, implementation of the recommendations drawn up and adopted by the participants and endorsed by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity remains incomplete. 

 The distribution of this brochure aims to remind each State, each organization, each man of good-will, of the necessity and urgency of according the refugee his rightful place on the African continent. 

 Antoine Noël

Head of the Regional Bureau for Africa

UNHCR 

 August 1984 

 I.      RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE 

 Recommendation 1 Asylum in Africa The Conference, 

 1.           Recognizes that while on the international level asylum is still a right of the State, some progress had been made in the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention in the direction of strengthening the position of the individual in relation to asylum; 

 2.           Stresses the fundamental importance, in the field of Human Rights of the various principles relating to asylum as defined in the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention and other relevant international instruments and appeals to Member States of the OAU to implement these principles; 

 3.           Reaffirms the need to ensure the increased effectiveness of these principles through their incorporation into the national law of African States in accordance with their respective constitutional systems; 

 4.           Reaffirms the principle expressed in Article II, paragraph 2 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention that the granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act and should not be regarded as unfriendly by any State.; 

 5.           Stresses the importance of the scrupulous observance of the principle of non-refoulement expressed in various international instruments and notably in Article II, paragraph 3 of the OAU Refugee Convention which prohibits measures such as rejection at the frontier, return or expulsion, which would compel a refugee to return to or remain in a territory where he has reason to fear persecution, and recommends that this principles be incorporated, as appropriate, in the national law of African States; 

 6.           condemns the existence and conclusion of agreements of whatever kind concluded between African States permitting the forcible return of refugees to their country of origin, contrary to the principles of asylum as prescribed, inter alia in the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention. 

 7.           Notes with concern that there has been several cases in which African refugees, upon return to their country of origin have been subjected to serious measures of persecution including imprisonment and loss of life and recommends that an earnest appeal be addressed to Governments of countries of origin to respect any guarantees of safety given to refugees with a view to encouraging their voluntary repatriation; 

 8.           Recognizes that the effective implementation in African of the principles relating to asylum will be further advanced by the strengthening and development of institutional arrangements for "burden sharing" adopted within the framework of African solidarity and international co-operation, defined in paragraph 8 of the Preamble and Article II, paragraph 4 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention; 

 9.           Further recommends that various studies be made on a regional basis with a view to determining the particular burdens facing countries of first asylum in African and the extent to which such burdens could be shared within the framework of African solidarity; 

 10.         Stresses the particular importance of the concept of temporary asylum as provided for in Article II, paragraph 5 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention and of the need for this concept to be further strengthened and developed in Africa; 

 11.         condemns strongly bombing attacks and other atrocities against refugees and refugee settlements in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols of 1977 as well as the abduction of refugees, and urges the international community to take all possible measures to prevent such violations and to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to present and potential victims. 

 Recommendation 2 Definition of the Term "Refugee" and Determination of Refugee Status The Conference, 

 1.           Recognizes the definitions of the term "refugee" contained in Article I, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention as the basis for date determining refugee status in Africa; 

 2.           Stresses the essential need for ensuring that African refugees are identified as such, so as to enable them to invoke the rights established for their benefit in the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol and the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention; 

 3.           Recommends that individual applications for asylum be examined under appropriate procedures established for this purpose and appeals to African States to apply, in such procedures, the basic requirements specified in the conclusions adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-eighth session;   [1]    

 4.           Considers, however, that the application of such procedures might be impracticable in the case of large-scale movements of asylum-seekers in Africa, a matter which calls for the setting up of special arrangements for identifying refugees; 

 5.           Recommends that the exact nature of such arrangements be the subject of further study but stresses that they should in any event (a) provide for appeal or review where refugee status is refused, (b) ensure that individuals are protected by virtue of the principle of non-refoulementexpressed in Article II of the OAU Refugee Convention; 

 6.           Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to undertake a comprehensive in-depth study of the type of procedures for special arrangements envisaged and, if appropriate, to co-operate in their implementation; 

 7.           Recognizes the importance of UNHCR's own responsibility to determine refugee status under its Statute, so as to ensure that asylum-seekers who are refused refugee status by the host country but might nevertheless be refugees of concern to UNHCR, receive adequate protection until an appropriate solution is found. 

 Recommendation 3 Illegal entry, Expulsion and Problems Raised by the Concept of Prohibited Immigrants. The Conference, 

 1.           Takes note of the relevant provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol and the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention, concerning illegal entry, expulsion and non-refoulement; 

 2.           Stresses the importance of refugees not being subject to penalties for illegal entry or presence, or to related measures of detention, in circumstances other than those permitted by Article 31 of the 1951 Refugee Convention; 

 3.           Considers that in view of the special situation in which they find themselves, refugees should not be subjected to national legislative of administrative provisions relating to prohibited immigrants; 

 4.           Further stresses that refugees lawfully in the territory of a Contraction State may not be expelled expect under the conditions provided for in Article 32 of the 1951 Convention. 

 Recommendation 4 Treatment of Refugees: Detention, Imprisonment and Acts Directed Against the Personal Safety of Refugees The Conference, 

 1.           Takes note of the various problems arising in connexion with the detention and imprisonment of refugees in African countries; 

 2.           Expresses concern that such measures of detention of imprisonment are in many cases not subject to ordinary administrative or judicial remedies and recommends that such practices be discouraged and that study of this matter be made, so as to ensure that the basic rights of refugee including those in the field of Human Rights, are fully guaranteed; 

 3.           Noted that in the case of members of liberation movements, recognized by the OAU, who have come into conflict with such movements, the question of their detention or imprisonment by the authorities of the host country, involved special problems and recommends that appropriate solutions for these problems, taking into account the necessity to alleviate the burden of the frontline States, be sought in a humanitarian spirit within the African context. 

 Recommendation 5 Treatment of Refugees: Movement of Refugees The Conference, 

 1,           Noted the economic and political difficulties confronting African States in solving refugee problems; 

 2.           Recommends, nevertheless, that the movement of refuges especially for purposes of study, professional training or resettlement in other country, be facilitated by African States in a spirit of African unity, in conformity with the charter of the OAU, and international solidarity. 

 3.           Stresses the importance of facilitating such refugee movements, having regard to: 

 (a)          Article 28 of the 1951 Refugee Convention and Article VI of the 1969 OAU Refuge Convention concerning the issue of travel documents to refugees; 

 (b)          The various resolution of the OAU concerning movements of refugees, including Resolution 489 of a August 1976; 

 4.           Recommends that African states taken all necessary steps to facilitate the movement of refugees. 

 Recommendation 6 Treatment of Refugees Rights and Obligations of Refugees and States of Asylum The Conference, 

 1.           Stresses the importance, in the African context, of international solidarity and co-ordination with a view to resolving the legal problems of refugees, in particular in the fields of gainful employment and public education; 

 2.           Recommends that with a view to facilitating the effective implementation of the 1951 Refugee Convention Article 17 and 22 dealing respectively with gainful employment and public education: 

 (a)          African States consider the possibility of providing, under their respective legislation or through arrangements with other States, work and employment opportunities for refugees who do not have access to gainful employment in their country of first asylum; 

 (b)          a study be made of the legal problems facing refugees in regard to employment and education; 

 (c)          refugee children be accorded the same treatment as nationals with respect to elementary education as provided for in the 1951 Refugee Convention article 22, Paragraph 1 and the African States make every effort to ensure that refugee are given access to secondary and technical education; 

 (d)          African states give further consideration to arrangements for providing refugees with higher education facilities either in their present country of asylum or elsewhere; 

 3.           Noted the provisions of the 1960 OAU Refugees Convention Article V concerning voluntary repatriation, and stresses the importance of voluntary repatriation as a solution to refugee problems. Recommends that appeals for repatriation and related guarantees given by countries of origin should be made known by every possible means to refugees and displaced persons; 

 4.           Recommends that UNHCR be called upon, as appropriate, to participate in the arrangement for the voluntary repatriation of refugees; 

 5.           Notes the provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention Article 34 concerning naturalization of refugees and stresses the importance of naturalization as a solution for African refugee problems in cases where voluntary repatriation can no longer be envisaged and where refugees have attained a sufficient degree of integration in their asylum country; 

 6.           Notes the obligation of refugees defined in the 1969 Refugee Convention Article III to conform with the laws and regulations of the country in which they find themselves and to abstain from any subversive activities against any Member State of the OAU; 

 7.           Further notes that obligation of Member States defined in the OAU 1969 Refugee Convention Article III to prohibit refugees residing in their territory from attacking any Member State of the OAU by any activity likely to cause tension between Member states, and the obligation defined in Article II, paragraph 6 of the same Convention, as far as possible to settle refugees at a reasonable distance from the frontier of their country of origin; 

 8.           Affirms that where problems arise in the case of refugees who are members of Liberation Movements recognized by the OAU and who come into conflict with their movement, their status as refugee should continue to be respected, subject to the 1960 OAU Refugee Convention Article I, paragraph 5c. Nevertheless, recommends that the question of dissidents from the Liberation Movements be studied in depth and that arrangements be envisaged to ensure that the pursuit of the liberation struggle is not adversely affected by such dissidents. 

 Recommendation 7 Accession to, and Implementation of, International Instruments Concerning Refugees and International Solidarity The Conference, 

 1.           Calls upon African States which have not done so to become parties to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and to the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa; 

 2.           Considers that it was a necessary corollary to States becoming parties to these instruments and the standards defined therein be incorporated in their national legislation; 

 3.           Recommends fuller co-operation between OAU Member states and the Administrative Secretary-General of the OAU, in order to foster the implementation of Article VII of the OAU Refugee Convention; 

 4.           Reaffirms the principle that human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination, and emphasized the need for the legal problems of refugees to be viewed in the wider context of respect for Human rights, and to this end: 

 (a)          calls upon all African States which have not done so, to accede to and implement the various Human Rights instruments adopted within the framework of the United Nations; 

 (b)          calls upon African States to participate in the Seminar scheduled to be held in 1979 pursuant to General Assembly resolution 33/167 of 20 December 1978 to consider the desirability of establishing an African Human Rights Commission; 

 (c)          recommends that UNHCR also be invited to participate in the work of the proposed Seminar. 

 Recommendation 8 Dissemination of Refugees Law The Conference, 

 1.           Recommends the establishment under the auspices of the OAU, UNHCR and UNESCO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Division of Human Rights), of an African centre to deal with the following functions in regard to refugee law, humanitarian law and Human Rights: 

 (a)          to arrange for teaching, training, dissemination and research in matters relating to refugee law, humanitarian law and Human Rights; 

 (b)          to study the implementation of international instruments and to arrange for their dissemination in Africa at the national, sub-regional and regional levels; 

 (c)          to centralize the relevant documentation; 

 (d)          to organize meeting and seminars with a view to a better understanding of rights and obligations of refugees; 

 2.           Recommends that with a view to promoting a wider and better understanding of the provisions of the various international instruments on refugees, Human Rights and humanitarian law, Governments undertaken to arrange for their dissemination in the most appropriate manner and, as far as possible, in national languages. 

 Recommendation 9 Causes for Asylum-seeking in Africa The Conference. 

 1.           Agrees that every effort should be made towards implementing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People; 

 2.           Stresses that any direct or indirect economic military or political support of the racist minority regimes in southern Africa should be totally withdrawn; 

 3.           Confirms that African Governments and peoples should step up their actions to support and strengthen the efforts of the liberation movements in their fight to eliminate the racist régimes in southern Africa in order to alleviate the sufferings of the Africans who are victims of the apartheid régimes; 

 4.           Calls upon governments and refugees-serving organizations to consider providing more assistance to the Front-line States to enable them to defend their territories, refugee camps, settlements and indigenous population against raids by the racist régime of southern Africa; 

 5.           Appeals to all African Governments to make every effort to fully implement the basic instruments relation to Human Rights, namely, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, and to include the provisions of international instruments dealing with human rights and refugee problems in their national legislations; 

 6.           Invites all African Governments to launch, possibly with the aid of modern communication techniques, an educational campaign to instill respect for human rights and tolerance of differences into all the peoples of the various nationalities in African countries whatever social, cultural, economic or political differences may exist between them; 

 7.           Calls upon all African Governments to consider making official public declarations of amnesty to their respective nationals currently in exile, so as to encourage their voluntary repatriation. Guarantees for safe return and machinery to supervise such guarantees to be considered and worked out both by the countries of origin and the countries of asylum in co-operation with the OAU, the refugee-serving agencies and the refugees concerned or their representatives; 

 8.           Invites the OAU to make a declaration to the effect that granting of amnesty should be held sacrosanct and inviolate. 

 Recommendation 10 Rural Refugees The Conference, 

 1.           Stresses that programmes covering rural refugees should be planned and implemented within the context of national, sub-regional and regional development endeavours, with the objective of getting refugees out of charity situations into a position of integrated development and self-reliance; 

 2.           Further stresses that the preparation of such programmes should include: 

 (a)          the agencies potentially providing aid, either as donors or as implementing partners, and the appropriate national and local authorities of the host country; 

 (b)          provisions for immediate needs such as food, clothing, shelter, water, health and social services (including education), a programme for agricultural development, which will necessitate physical planning of the settlement area, including long-term agricultural viability; 

 3.           Emphasized that, in order to achieve integrated settlement, the following components must be taken into account; 

 (a)          an adequate knowledge by planners and administrators of the potential of the district or province as a whole, and the potential of the refugee settlement in relation to the district or province; 

 (b)          a sound programme of increasing agricultural and related production to provide a surplus, which can be converted into cash for personal needs such as clothing, household goods, etc., and which, when marketed, will form a basis for taxation; 

 (c)          effective refugee integration into the economic structure of the host community through co-operatives for production and marketing, etc. this integration should include vocational training related to the planned manpower needs of the host Government. It is advisable to make such training schemes available both to the refugees and to the local population in the same area; 

 (d)          effective involvement of refugees in the integration and development process. 

 4.           Recalls that officials administering refugee affairs in countries of asylum should be encouraged to make exchange visits to settlements where tried and tested methods have resulted in successfully integrated refugee communities. The possibility that financial assistance for such visits from international sources be included as part of refugee assistance should be envisaged. Seminars associated with such exchange of experience related to refugee work are also recommended. 

 5.           Further recalls that governmental and non-governmental agencies should not always insist on visits to refugee camps as a precondition for giving aid since some of the refugee camps might be in sensitive areas which, for security reasons, host Governments will not wish outsiders to visit. 

 6.           Recognize that, as a preset more than 60 per cent of Africa's rural refugees live outside organized settlement schemes, studies of the social, educational and economic situation of rural refugees outside organized settlement schemes should be undertaken by the Governments in co-operation with the appropriate international and non-governmental organizations with a view to providing Governments and international organizations with the basic information necessary to formulate programmes of assistance and to security the necessary financial support to implement such programmes. 

 Recommendation 11 Urban Refugees The Conference, 

Invite African Governments having large urban refugee populations together with the UNHCR and inter-governmental organizations and voluntary agencies concerned, a well as with representative of refugees, and where applicable of liberation movements,  

 (a)          to study in detail the problem of urban refugees and recommend appropriate action; 

 (b)          to co-ordinate their efforts and involvement and create a strategy to deal with these problems. Such a strategy could include the establishment of a reception centre or a similar institution: 

 i)            to give emergency care; 

 ii)           to identify problems of refugee; 

 iii)           to provide counselling as regards placement, education, employment, etc. 

 (c)          to search for means of controlling rural exodus, and examine suitable ways of resettling some of the urban refugees in rural areas; 

 (d)          to study in depth supplementary assistance programmes which are initiated by inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations (i.e. levels, durations, etc., of the aid) in order to formulate a policy which will take into account the cost of living index in the host country; 

 (e)          expand, wherever possible, existing facilities of education and housing to enable Governments to cater for the needs of refugees; 

 (f)           to consider creating sponsorship programmes whereby individuals and national organizations will be encouraged to assist by way of offering hospitality and job opportunities to refugees during their early days of immigration to the host country; 

 (g)          to exert greater effort to build up the additional formal educational opportunities required and such non-formal programmes of skills training or up-grading geared to speed up the process towards self-support; 

 (h)          to bear in mind that, as refugee integration within countries of asylum is a process which is to be mutually borne by the local population and the urban refugee groups in various communities, refugee guidance should be matched by local awareness and acceptance, a task which both Governments and all other agencies serving urban refugees should take note of in building local service units. 

 Recommendation 12 General Recommendations Related to Rural and Urban Refugees The Conference, 

 1.           Invites host Governments and the inter-governmental agencies concerned, 

 (a)          to give consideration to ways and means of reaching as promptly as possible an accurate assessment of a new refugee situation in its early stages; 

 (b)          to give consideration to borrowing arrangements from Government stocks or existing aid reserves, where available, during the emergency phases, in order to minimise delays that occur in delivering food supplies from external sources; 

 2.           Appeals to all agencies concerned, whether inter-governmental or non-governmental, to undertake, within the activities they are planning for the International Year of the Child, studies related to the specific needs of refugee children, drawing on the valuable knowledge and experience of the UNHCR, with a view to formulating recommendations for future actions; 

 3.           Stresses that, in view of the manpower requirements of Africa all efforts should be made to: 

 (a)          create as far as possible equal educational and employment opportunities for refugees and for nationals; 

 (b)          strengthen the BPEAR; 

 (c)          create employment opportunities; 

 (d)          establish re-training programmes. 

 4.           Calls upon UNHCR to go beyond its present temporary and short-term assistance policies. To this end, assistance programmes related to the socio-economic development of regions inhabited by refugees who cannot be repatriated should evolve with the support of the UNHCR and other refugee-serving agencies. 

 Recommendation 13 Employment, Education and Training of Refugees in Africa The Conference, 

 1.           Stresses that national and regional employment surveys at present under ways within the ILO/JASPA project should be expanded to encompass comprehensive manpower studies with long-term projections, with a view to enabling the formulation, when required, of well conceived and articulated refugee assistance programmes geared, through appropriate education and training, towards refugee placement in jobs known to be, at least provisionally, secure. Such country manpower and employment monographs could, with the consent of the Governments concerned, be entrusted to be undertaken by ECA, IBRO, OAU/BPEAR and other organizations, together with the ILO and its ongoing JASPA project; 

 2.           Invites the African Governments to endeavour to make the necessary provisions inter alia through the granting of entry, residence and work permits, for the employment and resettlement of refugees in their respective countries. In that connexion, the various problems posed by the employment of refugees and the effect of existing national legislation upon their circumstances should be identified and appropriate solutions sought at the sub-regional and regional levels. As far as possible, all African Governments should endeavour to take appropriate measures to guarantee to refugees equality of opportunity and treatment with nationals with respect to training, employment and conditions of life in general. 

 3.           Emphasizes that refugees, particularly those from southern Africa, who have benefited from scholarships awarded to them for further studies, should be encouraged to return to join their people after completion of their training to utilize the skills acquired by them for the advancement of the liberation struggle of their respective countries and in the service of other refugees from their countries of origin. 

 4.           Requests the Administrative Secretary-General of the OAU to take all possible measures to ensure that the BPEAR fulfils its mandate, and to that effect, that it is appropriately strengthened to provide the effective organizational apparatus required to arrange for the prompt placement of refugees, once settlement and employment opportunities are made available to them within the African continent. 

 5.           Invites all OAU Member States to co-operate with the BPEAR by providing information required by the BPEAR in respect of refugee situation, and opportunities for education and employment available in their respective countries. 

 6.           Stresses that urgent consideration should be given to measure leading to the creation of employment opportunities for refugees as well as to the promotion of self-employment projects. 

 7.           Recall that arrangements should be made to meet the need for retraining refugees to help them acquire necessary skills, as well as the need for planning educational and training programmes for refugees in a well-co-ordinate d manner, bearing in mind the manpower requirements in the region, so as to facilitate the employment of refugees. 

 8.           Stresses that increased attention should be paid to programmes that may benefit the training, education and employment of women who suddenly assume the role of mother and bread winner. 

 9.           Calls upon African Governments to continue to increase their help to refugees, by providing access to national educational institutions and to appropriate vocational guidance and placement services. 

 10.         Confirms that there should be programmes of institutional support to educational institutions in Africa in addition to programmes of scholarship support to refugees, in order to develop the school system in recipient countries while obtaining concessions for refugees admission. 

 11.         Calls upon the major scholarship-awarding agencies to meet under the auspices of the Co-ordinating Committee of the OAU-BPEAR to co-ordinate policies (on rates, other benefits, criteria for termination) in order to avoid duplication. 

 12.         Requests that a fully-fledged study be undertaken as a co-operative effort between governmental and non-governmental agencies, under the auspices of the Co-ordinating Committee of the OAU, to review the real effect and impact of the scholarship assistance provided during past years. 

 13.         Urges the universities and other educational institutions to charge the same fees to refugees and to nationals. 

 14.         Calls for appropriate and immediate consideration to be given to special language courses to be organized in host countries for refugees arriving from different language areas. 

15.          Urges all non-African Governments, in a spirit of international solidarity.  

 (a)          to adopt a more liberal attitude towards the admittance and resettlement of African refugees in countries outside Africa, especially those who will benefit from studies outside the African continent; 

 (b)          to mount an expanded education programme to cater for African refugee students, for whom suitable placement cannot be found in Africa. 

 16.         Calls upon the OAU/BPEAR in co-operation with UNECA to review the 1967 UNECA list of priorities for education. 

 17.         Emphasizes that greater attention should be paid to the training of trainers in relation both to liberation movement programmes, and educational programmes oriented towards refugees in general. 

 Recommendation 14 Refugee Counselling Services The Conference, 

 1.           Recommends that counselling services should be provided with appropriately trained counsellors. Only persons with the relevant basic qualifications should be entrusted with the responsibility of assisting refugees to meet their immediate needs and help them plan their future realistically. 

 2.           Stresses that counsellors should be provided with orientation courses on refugee problems and needs, on procedures to be followed by refugees in the country of asylum, as well as on other relevant issues. 

 3.           Emphasizes that in-service training in various forms should be made available to counsellors, and should concentrate on up-grading their skills and generally enabling them to continue to develop professionally. Well-prepared seminars should be organized periodically involving counsellors from more than one country to permit an exchange of ideas and experience. 

 4.           Confirms that counsellors should have the benefit of professional supervision. 

 5.           Further confirms that handbooks should be prepared by the OAU/BPEAR in co-operation with the UNHCR and other agencies concerned to meet the distinctive requirements of: 

 (a)          refugees 

 (b)          counsellors 

 (c)          immigration officers and other Government officials. 

 The handbooks should provide basic information on matters affecting refugees such as: 

 (a)          the rights and obligations of refugees; 

 (b)          the functions of refugee-serving agencies; 

 (c)          eligibility procedures for refugees; 

 (d)          asylum; 

 (e)          work permits, employment opening and educational opportunities. 

 6.           Recognizes that the refugees and, where applicable, the national liberation movements, should be given the opportunity to be more directly involved in counsellign services. 

 7.           Invites the Governments to initiate, where appropriate and in co-operation with UNHCR and other intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies, a comprehensive survey of refugee counselling services with a view to improving existing services or establishing new ones. 

 8.           Confirms the need to include "refugee situations and problems" in curriculum of schools of social work. As an interim measure, orientation courses on refugee problems and needs should be set up on an ad hoc basis for those who are currently involved in refugees counselling services. 

 9.           Further confirms that national social services should be encouraged to enlarge their field of activity to include refugee issues and problems, and be assisted in such a way that they could gradually take over the responsibility of providing counselling services to refugees in their countries. 

 10.         Notes that, where appropriate, counselling services should be operated jointly by the Governments, UNHCR and organizations and agencies concerned with refugee work. 

 Recommendation 15 Policy Issues and Administrative Problems The Conference, 

 1.           Recognizing the importance of the essence of the humanitarian element of the international conventions on refugees, calls upon all OAU Member States which have not yet done so, to accede to the United Nations Convention of 1951, the Protocol of 1967 and the OAU convention of 1969, and to proceed to enact-or where it may be the case, amend-national legislations according to these international instruments to secure a speedy recognition of refugees as individuals as well as in groups, where necessary. 

 2.           Stresses that, in connexion with such recognition, an identification document should be issued to refuges, to grant them protection and basic rights and to enable Governments to assess the extent of the refugee population in their countries. 

 3.           Noting with concern the increasing number of African refugees, aware of the fact that no programme of assistance for refugees can succeed without clearly defined policies of governments, and bearing in mind that agencies desirous of finding ways and means of alleviating the misery and sufferings of refugees, as well as of providing them with assistance depend on Governments to take the lead: 

 (a)          Urges all African Governments to et up as soon as possible national refugee machinery, where it does not already exist; 

 (b)          and recommends that the mandate of such a national machinery should include: 

 i)            defining and implementing under its supervision national policies for assistance to refugees; 

 ii)           advising on the enactment and amendment, whenever needed, of national refugee legislation which would constitute an essential instrument for the protection of, and assistance to refugees; 

 iii)           acting as a focal point for the co-ordination of assistance programme at the national level in co-operation with all concerned with, and involve refugee problems; 

 iv)          promoting and assisting the creation of refugee counselling services or strengthening the refugee counselling services where they already exist. 

 4.           Calls upon all OAU Member States, UNHCR, other intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies involved in refugee work to give more assistance and support o the OAU/BPEAR so that it can discharge its responsibilities as originally entrusted to it. 

 5.           Emphasizes that the follow up of the implementation of the recommendations of this conference, will be the primary responsibility of the OAU, working in co-operation with the UNHCR, in accordance with the provision of the Agreement of co-operation signed between the two organizations. Member States of OAU, UNHCR and other intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies who have substantial assistance programme to African refugees as one of their major functions, and who are responsible for the actual implementation of the recommendations, shall keep the Secretary-General of the OAU constantly informed of their work in this regard, and that the Secretary-General of the OAU may convene, as appropriate, consultative meetings for agencies concerned with the implementation of the recommendations, and shall submit periodically progress reports on the implementation of the recommendations to the OAU Council of Ministers. 

 Recommendation 16 Special Recommendation Submitting the Report of the Conference to the OAU council of Ministers The Conference, 

Having adopted the preceding recommendations on the situation of refugees in Africa,  

 Requests  the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity to take the decisions required to have them effectively implemented in the spirit of African solidarity. 

 II.    RESERVATIONS 

The following reservations were made in respect of the recommendation adopted on legal and protection problems:  

 i)            The Delegation of Somalia made a reservation to the application of paragraph 7 of the Recommendation 6 to exceptional situations where homogeneous people of the same national character are arbitrarily divided by artificial colonial frontiers. 

 ii)           The Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania made reservation in respect of Recommendation 6 on treatment of Refugees; rights and Obligations of Refugees and States of Asylum to the effect that in order to indicate that it was a responsibility of all States in African to accept burden sharing as an obligation, it should include the following paragraph: 

 "Recommends that various studies be made on a regional basis with a view to determining the particular burdens facing countries of first asylum in Africa and the extent to which such burdens could be shared within the framework of African solidarity, and in accordance with paragraph 8 of the Preamble to, and Article II, paragraph 4 of the OAU Refugee Convention". 

 iii)           The Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania also made a reservation in respect of paragraph 8, second sentence of Recommendation 6 considering that once it was established that a dissident from a liberation movement was excluded from refugee status under Article I, paragraph 5 (c) of the OAU Refugee Convention, and further action that might be taken in regard to him was not a matter to be dealt with in the context of a resolution dealing with refugees. 

 iv)          The Delegation of Algeria made a reservation in respect of paragraph 4 (a) of Recommendation 7 on Accession to, and Implementation of, International Instruments Concerning Refugees and International Solidarity reasoning that in spite of the fact Algeria has accede to the most pertinent Conventions relating to Human Rights, for political reasons, it felt that certain dispositions of some international instruments mentioned in the relevant paragraph concern the economical and social politics of each country and for these reasons it could not associate itself with the recommendations concerning the accession to these instruments. 

 v)           The Delegation of the Revolutionary People's Republic of Guinea made a reservation in respect to paragraph 4 (a) of Recommendation 7. The Delegation of Guinea was of the opinion that the use of the concept of Human Rights on the international political scene is incompatible with the rights of peoples and furthermore, used a a weapon of perturbing the process of a harmonious historic evolution of independent African States. 

 Further reservations were formulated by Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and guinea on article V of Recommendation 9 on causes for asylum-seeking in Africa. 

 III.  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE OAU COUNCIL OF MINSTERS 

 Resolution on the Situation of Refugees in Africa and on Perspective Solutions to their Problems in the 1980's CM/RES. 727 (XXXIII) 

The Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity meeting in its  Thirty-third Ordinary Session in Monrovia, Liberia, from 6 to 20 July 1979, 

 Recalling  its resolutions CM/RES. 621 (XXXI) and CM/RES. 694 (XXXII) on the Arusha Refugee Conference, 

 Having carefully  considered the report of the Arusha Conference of Refugee situation in Africa which convened from 7 to 17 May 1979, 

 Deeply concerned  by the constant deterioration of the living condition and by the ever increasing number of African refugees, 

 Recalling once again  the principles enshrined in the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa and more particularly the fact that "granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act and shall not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any Member States"; 

 1.           WELCOMES the convening of the Conference held from 7-17 May 1979 on the situation of African Refugees; 

 2.           FULLY ENDORSES the repot and recommendations adopted by the 1979 Arusha Conference on the situation of refugees in Africa; 

 3.           CALLS UPON OAU Member States concerned to enact amnesty, law and/or proclamations in order to facilitate voluntary repatriation of African Refugees; 

 4.           CALLS UPON all Member States to refrain from taking measures that would aggravate the refugee problem; 

 5.           URGES all OAU member States to consider ways and means of translating the principle of burden-sharing into action by inter-alia accepting a number of refugees in their countries; 

 6.           INVITES the Secretary-General to establish with the assistance and cooperation of the UN and its specialised agencies, an Ad-Hoc working group whose mandate will be to study the possibilities and conditions for participation of African States in burden-sharing; 

 7.           REQUESTS the Secretary-General to take urgent and appropriate action to restructure and strengthen the OAU Bureau for Refugees, to enable it to assume the responsibilities it has to shoulder, and to report to the Thirty-Fourth Ordinary Session of the Council on the action taken; 

 8.           FURTHER INVITES the UN and its specialised agencies, having specific refugee programmes, as well as intergovernmental, international and regional organisation, and voluntary agencies involved in refugee work, to pursue and intensify their activities and programmes in support of African refugees, and to promote effective cooperation among their respective central and field/branch offices, for the benefit of the refugees; 

 9.           CONGRATULATES the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations for having increased the African membership of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; 

 10.         FURTHER CONGRATULATES the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the resources it has so far allocated to alleviate problems facing African refugees and appeals to it to sustain and increase its assistance in support of the increased population of African refugees; 

 11.         REQUESTS the African Group at the United Nations to take necessary measures to ensure that all organisations engaged in refugee work in Africa comply with the OAU 1969 Convention on refugees in addition to existing legal instruments on refugees. 

 IV.  PARTICIPANTS 

The conference was attended by 38 delegations representing the following African participating countries;  

 Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Empire, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia: 

And by observers from 5 African Liberation Movements namely the following:  

 African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), SWAPO, ZANU/PF, ZAPU/PF; 

From 20 non-African countries:  

 Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Federal Republic of, Holy See (Vatican), India Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Yugoslavia; 

From the following 16 inter-governmental international and regional organization:  

 Organization of African Unity (OAU), Food and Agriucltural Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNESCA),United Nations Educational Training Programme for southern Africa (UNETPSA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Division of Human Rights, United Nations Council for Namibia, United Nations Institute for Namibia, Commonwealth Secretariat, European Economic Community (EEC); 

And from 37 non-governmental organizations and refugee-serving agencies whose list includes:  

 African-American Institute (AAI), all Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), Amnesty International, Brot für die Welt (West Germany), Canadian Council of Churches, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Christian Aid (British Council of Churches), Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ), church World Service (CWS) (USA), CORSO New Zealand, Council of Swaziland Churches, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Euro-Action Acord, Ford foundation, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), International Defence &Aid fund for Southern Africa (IDAF), International Rescue Committee (IRC), International Social Service (ISS), International University Exchange Fund, Joint Refugee Service of Kenya (JRSK), League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Norwegian church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), OXFAM-United Kingdom,. Radda Barnen (Swedish save the Children federation), Students and Academiciens International Relief Organization (SAIH-Norway), Standing Conference on Refugee (United Kingdom), Swedish Free Church Aid, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), World Council of Churches (WCC), World University Service (WUS), World Yong Women's Christian Association (YWCA). 

   

  

   [1]    See Official Records of the General Assembly of the U.N. Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/32/12Add.1, para 53 (6)(e)).

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