GENEVA, 24 December 2020 – The United Nations officials have commended the Chadian government for adopting its first-ever asylum law.
Adopted on 23 December 2020, the law affords asylum seekers fundamental protections, including freedom of movement, the right to work and access to healthcare, education and justice.
Chadian President Idriss Deby is taking credit for the adoption of the law.
The law will enhance protection for the nearly 480,000 refugees currently hosted in the country, said Millicent Mutuli, Director of the Regional Bureau for the Central African sub-region of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
The majority of refugees and asylum seekers in Chad fled the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region; Boko Haram attacks in both the northern parts of Cameroun and Nigeria; and from the Central African Republic.
The adopton of the law makes Chad one of the first countries in the sub-region to fulfill a pledge made during last year’s Global Refugee Forum in Geneva to strengthen legal, physical and material protection of refugees and asylum seekers.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also spoken highly of the law.
The law conforms to international standards enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention and its protocol as well as the 1969 Organization of African Union Convention on Refugees.
Nearly one million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons live in Chad, according to UNHCR data.