The Government of Rwanda is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the 1969 Organization of African Unity’s (OAU) Convention, the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions and the majority of leading international human rights and displacement conventions. It abides by the principle of non-refoulement and its law relating to refugee status aligned with international protection principles. Rwanda has held its doors open to refugees granting prima facie refugee status to those fleeing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 1996 and to those fleeing Burundi since election-related outbreak of violence erupted in 2015. As of March 2018, 174,588 refugees reside in Rwanda (representing 1.4% of the total population), the majority of whom live in six camps across the country (79%) while the remainder lives in urban settings, mainly in the capital Kigali and in the city of Huye.
The Rwandan context offers an enabling environment for innovative responses and approaches for refugees based on its national systems and structures. On 19 September 2016, all 193 Member States of the UN General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). On the following day, at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, the Government of Rwanda pledged  to:
The CRRF provides the GoR, together with a broad range of partners, with an opportunity to implement and further build upon these generous commitments.
Following a high-level bilateral meeting between the Rwandan Delegation and High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in the margins of UNHCR’s 68th Executive Committee session in 2017, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) requested UNHCR to facilitate an inter-ministerial, exploratory workshop on the CRRF in Rwanda, which took place on 9 November 2017. Different national ministries, local government officials, UN agencies, the World Bank and other partners came together to discuss the CRRF, share lessons from existing roll-out countries and assess the opportunities for the Government to roll out comprehensive refugee responses. Shortly after, on 14 February 2018, the Government announced its application of the CRRF by way of note verbale.
To further strengthen protection and promote socio-economic inclusion of refugees in Rwanda, the Government and UN Agencies are working together to foster strategic partnerships across government institutions including with line ministries that have not traditionally been associated with refugee responses. Stronger partnerships among civil-society organizations and private sector companies are also being developed. For instance, the Development Partner Coordination Group (DPCG) and the National Development Sector Working Groups (SWGs) serve as important fora with regard to advocacy for the inclusion of refugees in Rwanda’s National Development Plan, District Development Plans and the UN Development Assistance Plan II (2018-2023) and, in turn, to foster the inclusion of refugees in national or area-based programming by development partners.
In the spirit of comprehensive responses, the private sector has engaged in developing sustainable solutions for refugees, for instance through the construction of shelters and sustainable cooking solutions. All actors engaged in the CRRF continue to engage with business leaders to develop long-term solutions for refugees and their hosts.
As outlined in section VII, there are key funding and operational gaps in the sector of education and in relation to greater involvement of line ministries other than MIDIMAR.
Contact persons in Rwanda UNHCR Operation
Jean-Paul Safari (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jonathan Owusu Darko (email@example.com)
 Nationals pay a highly subsidized amount in four different tiers based on their socio-economic profile; Category one: free; category two: RWF 3000; category three and four: RWF 7000.
 The enrolment of refugees in primary schools increased by 26% (from enrolment of 54% as of end 2016 to 80% as of end 2017) and the enrolment of refugees in secondary schools increased by 39% (from enrolment of 34% as of end 2016 to 73% as of end 2017).
The next steps in the initial roll-out of the CRRF in Rwanda include:
This report was prepared by the Evaluation Service, UNHCR.
The high-level meeting of Ministers in charge of refugees in the Great Lakes region was held on 7 March 2019 in line with the Global Compact on Refugees adopted on 17 December 2018. More information: here
The 32nd Ordinary Sessions of the AU Assembly was held on 10-11 February 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme they focused was on refugees, internally displaced persons and IDPs. The Summit officially launched the theme of the year and adopted a number of important decisions. To see the decisions, see the document attached. More information: here
This poster provides an overview of key developments in the African countries that are applying comprehensive refugee responses.
This study is the result of a joint initiative between UNHCR Regional Service Centre/Division of International Protection and UNICEF Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa. This document was jointly commissioned by the UNHCR Regional Service Centre and the Division of International Protection and the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office. The study explores the nexus between humanitarian and development approaches to child protection and explores practical ways this divide can be bridged.