Influence of Youth Unemployment on Youth Involvement in Crime in Kakuma Refugee Camp




Crime, Intervention, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Poverty, Societal Treatment, Strain Theory, Unemployment, Youth


Youth, constituting an estimated 70% of the total population, play pivotal roles in society due to their energy and dynamism. Conversely, a significant portion of the refugee population comprises young individuals who, despite being provided with various capacity-building programs, sometimes find themselves involved in criminal activities. The study sought to assess the influence of youth unemployment on youth involvement in Crime in Kakuma Refugee Camp. Employing a descriptive research design, the study was guided by Strain theory. The target population included refugees, host community members operating businesses within the study area, government officials, and officials from humanitarian agencies implementing projects in refugee settlements. Stratified random sampling was utilized to select South Sudanese sub-clans, while purposive sampling was employed to select security officers and stakeholders from various departments. Data collection involved the use of questionnaires and interviews, gathering responses from 125 and 20 respondents, respectively. Primary data was obtained through questionnaires and interviews with government officers working in the camp, such as those from the Department of Refugee Services (DRS), law enforcement officers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), community peace and protection teams (CPPTs), and national and county government administrators overseeing the refugee camp's jurisdiction. Secondary data was sourced from scholarly journals, books, the internet, reports, newspapers, and treaties on refugees, aiding in achieving the study objectives. Data analysis employed descriptive statistics for quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data, utilizing SPSS and NVIVO software, respectively. Results were presented through tables, charts, and figures. The study found that poverty was a significant factor contributing to youth involvement in crime. Additionally, societal treatment, characterized by suspicion, victimization, lack of recognition, and disharmony influenced youth criminal behaviour. To address these issues, the study recommends that humanitarian organizations and governments provide income-generating activities for youth, intensify initiatives to alleviate community involvement in crime, foster positive societal attitudes towards youth, and provide proper guidance on avoiding negative peer influence, thereby deterring youth from joining criminal groups.


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How to Cite

Mathenge, J. (2024). Influence of Youth Unemployment on Youth Involvement in Crime in Kakuma Refugee Camp. African Journal of Empirical Research, 5(2), 462–474.