Upstairs downstairs: Communication contradictions around two African refugee camps | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-199X
  • E-ISSN: 1751-7974



This article describes and analyses the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) communication policy in the current world environment where a variety of well-doers attempt to pursue attention. The analysis is reflected against the results of focus group interviews with Congolese women in two refugee camps in Rwanda in November 2010. Although the women are not provided with any form of mediated communication, they do not appear to have any interest in it either. Daily concerns fill their lives in the ‘non-place’ and although that strongly limits their lifestyle and living conditions, it also ensures their safety. This article discusses both the possibility of establishing ‘small media’ or community media in the camps and the possibility of changing the principles of the United Nations (UN) communication policies.


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