Towards inclusive protection: understanding refugee experiences and gender dynamics in Uganda

Published 29. May 2024
Uganda ranks among the leading refugee-hosting nations in Africa and globally, providing refuge to almost 1.6 million refugees and 46,000 asylum seekers.

Despite the country’s commendable open-door policy, ongoing conflicts in neighbouring countries, continual influxes of new arrivals, and significant underfunding have strained the effectiveness and sustainability of Uganda’s refugee policy, leading to persistent protection risks.

This brief, informed by the voices of displaced communities, offers insights into the challenges faced by refugees, asylum seekers, and host communities in Uganda. Drawing upon qualitative data collected in late 2023 across Kampala, Southwest, and West Nile regions and supplemented by case studies compiled in early 2024, it aims to document the protection landscape and inform NRC's programming in Uganda, with a specific focus on gender dynamics.

The findings reveal enduring protection risks across critical areas including legal and justice challenges, limited access to housing, land and property rights, and struggles to secure livelihood opportunities and essential services. Gender dynamics, age, and disability introduce additional layers of complexity. While families and individuals identify coping mechanisms, these can often further exacerbate vulnerabilities.