Press Release by the Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa on the Occasion of the Entry into Force of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa

    The Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa (Special Rapporteur) welcomes the entry into force of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (commonly referred to as the Kampala Convention), adopted on 22 October 2009 in Kampala, Uganda.

    The Special Rapporteur seizes this opportunity to commend the 15 AU Member States which have already ratified the Kampala Convention without which, in accordance with Article 17 thereof, it would not have entered into force. These States include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Nigeria, Niger, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Chad, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. The entry into force of the Convention is testimony to the commitment of these States to assisting their own displaced citizens, and their readiness and determination to work towards strengthening the promotion and protection of the rights of displaced persons in their countries.

    The Special Rapporteur encourages States which have already ratified the Convention to take the necessary measures to ensure its effective implementation, in particular by developing the relevant national programmes and policies, enacting national laws to ensure the full protection and assistance of displaced persons living in their territories and seeking lasting solutions to situations of displacement.  

    She further calls upon these States to submit their periodic reports to the African Commission, in accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter, indicating the legislative and other measures taken with a view to giving effect to the provisions of the Kampala Convention.

    Considering the increasing phenomenon of displacement in Africa, the Special Rapporteur urges States which have not yet done so to ratify this important instrument governing the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons.  

    On behalf of the Commission and on her own behalf, the Special Rapporteur expresses her unflagging commitment to working with AU Member States in promoting and protecting the rights of internally displaced persons in Africa.

     

                                          Banjul, The Gambia, 6 December 2012

                                                

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      Date: 06 December 2012

      Commissioners: Soyata Maiga

      Special Mechanism: Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa

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