September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Repatriation of Refugees

Country: Rwanda
Delegate Name: Abby Klein

Ongoing emergencies in Afghanistan, DR Congo, Syria, Ukraine, Rohingya, Venezuela, and South Sudan have caused individuals to lack many basic resources and a safe asylum that all people deserve to have access to. The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950 in order to help with situations much like these. The UNHCR has done as much as possible to give civilians resources to help, as well as relocating them to places where they can be safe. While the ongoing emergencies that were previously mentioned persist, it is time to return refugees from previous emergencies back to their home. Ensuring the safe return of refugees is of paramount importance. The process must be meticulously managed to avoid any forced removal or deportation that might expose refugees to the risk of settling permanently in unsafe conditions or places lacking the familiar jobs, lifestyles, and resources they were accustomed to. While the UNHCR has made commendable efforts in implementing voluntary repatriation programs, there remains a substantial gap in reaching every refugee who may desire to return to their home country. Addressing this challenge is crucial to comprehensively assist individuals in making informed and voluntary decisions about their return.

Rwanda has a history of facilitating the return of refugees, a practice notably exemplified in the aftermath of the Rwandian genocide of 1994. During this tragic event, the Hutus, a major ethnic group in Rwanda, overthrew the government and military, resulting in the genocide of over 800,000 people. In the face of imminent danger, nearly half a million citizens sought refuge in neighboring countries. Fortunately, the genocide came to a swift end, allowing Rwandian refugees to come back. Since then, Rwanda has collaborated with the UNHCR to orchestrate the return of thousands of individuals who had fled during the genocide, successfully reuniting millions of people with their home country and their families. Rwanda aspires to assist other nations in achieving similar success in the repatriation journeys of their refugees. This commitment reflects Rwanda’s dedication to fostering stability, rebuilding communities, and facilitating the safe return of those displaced by conflict.

One way that Rwanda foresees doing this is to work with the UNHCR to create more organization as to where individuals seeking refuge go, in order to be able to contact them after their home is safe for them to return. A critical challenge in the repatriation journey is the potential resettlement of refugees in locations that may not align with their preferences or safety needs. To address this concern, Rwanda proposes the creation of a specialized branch within the UNHCR. This dedicated branch would prioritize ensuring the safety, happiness, and full rights of refugees, in alignment with the principles recognized by the UN. This branch should be created by the HRC with the only goal of ensuring that all refugees are granted the same freedoms and respect that the UN gives to all global citizens. Once refugees have reintegrated back into their home countries, this branch can do periodical check ups on the refugees to make certain that they receive human rights. Creating this establishment would make the repatriation of refugees a smoother and effective transition and ensure that all refugees receive the human rights that they deserve.