Addis Ababa — The House of People's Representatives (HPR) has approved a draft bill on refugees today.
House Legal, Justice and Democratic Affairs Standing Committee Chairperson, Fozia Amin told members of the HPR that the objective of the bill is to fill the legal gaps that were not incorporated in the previous proclamation of Ethiopia which hosts more than 900,000 refugees.
It was, therefore, found necessary to facilitate a legal framework in which refuges and citizens could engage in development in keeping with the current international, regional and local situations, she explained.
Among other things, the bill provides structure that enables legal refugees to engage in inclusive development programs in the localities they reside, based on the country's land lease and finance system, Fozia stated.
According to her, the bill will help to enhance the country's visibility and acceptance internationally and provides ground work for further promoting the livelihood of refugees and host communities.
Fozia further noted that it will cement the current spirit of good neighborliness with the countries in the sub-region, strengthen people-people relation, and improve Ethiopia's administration of refugees and service delivery.
The bill was passed with 3 against and one abstention votes.