UNHCR welcomes new asylum law in Chad

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, commends The Republic of Chad for adopting its first-ever asylum law, which will enhance protection for the nearly 480,000 refugees currently hosted in the country. Adopted 23 December 2020, the law ensures refugees and asylum-seekers fundamental protections, including freedom of movement, the right to work and access to healthcare, education, and justice.

The passage of this law makes Chad one of the first countries in the 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 law will also guide the establishment of an efficient national asylum system, which is being pursued under the Asylum Capacity Support Group. The law conforms to international standards enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention and its protocol and the 1969 OAU Convention on Refugees.

Chad, one of the largest refugee host countries in Africa, currently offers protection to more than 915,000 refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, and Chadian returnees. UNHCR applauds the Chadian government’s willingness to keep its borders open to those who seek refuge.