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Public narratives and attitudes towards refugees and other migrants: Uganda country profile

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Irina Mosel, Amy Leach

Hero image description: A market stall holder in northern Uganda Image credit:Pete Lewis / DFID Image license:CC BY 2.0

This briefing presents an overview of the key features of migration and asylum policy in Uganda, recent trends in migration, refugee and asylum patterns, public perceptions and political narratives on refugees and other migrants:

  • Uganda hosts a much higher proportion of refugees and other migrants relative to its population than other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Over time, the country’s approach to refugee hosting has shifted from being heavily restrictive towards becoming – at least in theory – one of the most progressive in the world.
  • There are several parallel narratives surrounding refugees and other migrants in Uganda. For example, Uganda has long been held up by international actors as an example of good practice for refugee hosting, however this has not always been matched with tangible funding commitments.
  • International and regional private sector actors are showing increased interest in investments in Uganda’s refugee-hosting areas. However, in contrast to other regional players such as Kenya, this has so far largely been limited to small-scale initiatives.

The briefing is part of a wider project, supported by the IKEA Foundation, that aims to engage public and private investors interested in migration and displacement.

A market stall holder in northern Uganda

Karen Hargrave and Irina Mosel with Amy Leach