I am a refugee in South Sudan

If you are a refugee in South Sudan, first of all you should be sure to hold a valid document issued by the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs (CRA) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). If you do not have such document or it is expired, please go to the registration page [link] and find out how to receive it or renew it.

Asylum seekers and refugees in South Sudan have both rights and obligations. These are indicated in the 2012 Refugee Act. To read the full law covering various rights, obligations, procedures related to asylum-seekers and refugees, please see this page [link].

Rights and obligations

The civilian and humanitarian character of asylum

In order to protect asylum seekers and refugees and safeguard their security the so-called civilian and humanitarian character of asylum must be respected.

This means that refugee locations shall be weapon free and armed elements should not be allowed in any refugee camps or settlements. This is critical to maintain a peaceful environment for civilians.

If these conditions are not respected, refugees, host community, as well as humanitarians assisting them can be at great risk. To avoid it, armed elements shall be identified and separate from civilians.

Frequently Asked Questions

See below for some frequently asked questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, contact us.

Do refugees have only rights or also obligations in South Sudan?

Refugees in South Sudan have both rights and obligation, as indicated by the international refugee law and the national refugee law (Refugee Act, 2012).

What are my rights as an asylum seeker or a refugee?

You have the right to be physically and legally protected. This includes your right to receive documents about your status and identity, and to have access to justice, get live-saving and basic assistance and services (such as food, shelter, health, and education) in South Sudan. You shall not be discriminated against just because you are an asylum-seeker or a refugee.

What are my obligations as an asylum seeker or refugee?

You shall respect and abide by the laws and regulations of South Sudan. You are not above the law.

If you violate South Sudan’s any laws and regulations, you will face the law of South Sudan. No impunity to perpetrators is admitted, no matter what his/her role is within the community! Your being a refugee or asylum-seeker in South Sudan does not mean that you can violate South Sudan’s laws.

Remember, your refugee status and the permission to stay in South Sudan is on condition that you respect and abide by all the laws and procedures of South Sudan that are relevant to asylum-seekers and refugees.

Do I have the right to work?

Yes, as a refugee, you have the right to work in South Sudan.

What documents do I have the right to receive?

As a refugee, besides your registration documentation, you have the right to receive the following:

Birth certificate, to avoid the risk of statelessness and to ensure rightful access to services to your newborn baby;

  • Identity documents, to avoid the risk of statelessness and ensure your access to education, work, and other services you might need while in South Sudan.
  • Travel documents, to be able to travel abroad to a third country that is not your country of asylum nor your country of origin.
  • Other documents, such as marriage and divorce certificates.

In order to request and receive these documents, see the page on ‘How do I apply for asylum’ and/or contact UNHCR and the CRA.

What services are available to me?

As a refugee you have the right to access the following basic services free of cost. The exact types of services and assistance might vary depending on where you are currently staying inside South Sudan:

  • Services available in the refugee camps or settlement include:
    • Food (provided in collaboration with and by the UN World Food Programme)
    • Material assistance
    • Basic health care services
    • Primary education
    • Support to earn your livelihood (example: seeds and farming tools provided in collaboration with and by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation)
  • Services available in the urban areas (for those who do not live in a camp) include:
    • Registration
    • Documentation
    • Legal advice/assistance (e.g. in case of arrest/detention)
    • Advice/support in case you are targeted by sexual and gender based violence
    • Access to local health and education facilities and livelihood opportunities as available for South Sudanese citizens

See also

➡️ I am a foreigner seeking refuge / asylum in South Sudan (‘asylum seeker’) ➡️ I am South Sudanese and displaced within the country (‘internally displaced’) ➡️ I am a South Sudanese refugee who left the country due to conflict and returned back to South Sudan ➡️ I am living in South Sudan but I do not have documents to prove my citizenship (‘stateless or at risk of statelessness’) << Return to 'Who are you?' << Return to South Sudan Help homepage