Date of Graduation

Winter 1-3-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Anne Bartlett


The phenomenon of urban refugees poses many challenges to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), host governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are providing services to them, thereby posing many challenges to the refugees themselves in having their needs addressed. My research with the Darfurian refugee population in Kampala, Uganda provides evidence on this relatively new Diaspora. Data was collected from June 2011 to August 2011, with the assistance of members of the Darfurian Refugee Association in Uganda (DRAU). Sixty-six respondents participated in the research, through methods including a questionnaire with open-ended questions to fifty-two refugees, fourteen semi-structured interviews, and five focus groups. Data findings illuminate issues related to refugee rights, refugee livelihoods and durable solutions. My research provides evidence among a larger body of literature which addresses the increasing amount of refugees in urban areas. This body of literature lacks adequate examination of the challenges that urban refugees face in accessing services, the livelihood strategies urban refugees that employ, as well as how agencies can more effectively provide assistance to these hidden populations. Darfurian refugees who come to Kampala as a result of the conflict are removed from their families and their culture, and must try to secure a livelihood without support around them other than their collective resources within their community. Refugees are seeking recognition and an increase in assistance by humanitarian agencies. It is necessary that agencies such as the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations offer more support and services to refugees in Kampala.