335: Resolution on the Situation of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa - ACHPR/Res. 335 (EXT.OS/XIX) 2016

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 19th Extra-Ordinary Session held from 16 to 25 February 2016 in Banjul, Islamic Republic of The Gambia;

    Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

    Recalling the provisions of Article 23 of the African Charter guaranteeing all peoples the right to national and international peace and security, among other obligations;

    Considering the provisions of relevant UN and regional principles relating to internally displaced persons, including the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (the Kampala Convention), and in particular its Article 3 which calls on States Parties to refrain from, prohibit and prevent arbitrary displacement of populations;

    Recalling the commitment made by States Parties in the Preamble of the Kampala Convention to provide durable solutions to situations of internally displaced persons by establishing an appropriate legal framework for their protection and assistance and adopting measures aimed at preventing and putting an end to the phenomenon of internal displacement by eradicating the root causes, especially persistent and recurrent conflicts as well as addressing displacement caused by natural disasters and large development projects which have a devastating impact on human life, peace, stability, security, and development;

    Deeply concerned about the massive displacement of populations as a result of armed conflicts, and the devastating consequences on the lives of these populations particularly in terms of insecurity, disease and loss of their possessions;

    Concerned at the suffering and vulnerability of certain groups among displaced persons, including women, children, elderly persons and persons with disabilities;

    Deeply concerned by the increasing number of violations against displaced persons, particularly children being recruited in armed groups, violence against women and girls, the main targets of warring factions;

    Concerned at the extent of violations of the rights of internally displaced persons guaranteed under international and regional human rights instruments;

    Concerned by the continued existence of camps for internally displaced persons and the consequences on their rights and those of host communities, as well as the negative impact on the stability and development of countries concerned;

    Recalling the primary responsibility of African States to protect their citizens and adopt lasting solutions for internally displaced persons (for their return and resettlement);

    The Commission:

    Calls on States Parties to the African Charter to:

          i.        Take appropriate measures in order to respect the human rights of all internally displaced persons and ensure that they receive all necessary assistance and protection adapted to their circumstances;

         ii.        Ensure that the issue of internally displaced persons is integrated into their periodic reports presented pursuant to Article 62 of the African Charter and Article 26 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol);

    Urges States Parties to the Kampala Convention to take all appropriate measures to ensure the protection of populations against forced displacement caused by large development projects in accordance with the provisions of Article 10 of the Convention;

    Calls on States Parties that have not yet done so, to ratify the Kampala Convention;

    Urges the African Union to intensify efforts for the resolution of armed conflicts, and develop a regional action plan to provide the necessary support to States experiencing natural disasters which result in the massive displacement of populations;

    Done in Banjul, The Islamic Republic of The Gambia, 25 February 2016

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