Kampala Convention on Internally Displaced Persons Enters into Force

6 December 2012: The African Union (AU) Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Africa (also known as the Kampala Convention) entered into force on 6 December 2012. The treaty aims to protect those displaced within their own countries through violence, natural disaster and other forces.

Under the Convention, States are obliged to allocate resources, adopt national policies and strategies and enact legislation to prevent displacement. States parties are also to take measures to protect and assist persons who have been internally displaced due to natural or human made disasters, including climate change.

The Convention sets outs that IDPs should be protected and supported by States until sustainable solutions are reached. Specifically, the Kampala Convention aims to, inter alia: promote and strengthen regional and national measures to prevent, mitigate and eliminate causes of internal displacement; establish legal frameworks for sustainable solutions and mutual support between States to combat displacement and address its consequences; and provide for the obligations and roles of armed groups, non-State actors and other stakeholders, including civil society organizations, with respect to the prevention of internal displacement.

Adopted in Kampala, Uganda in 2009, the Kampala Convention is the first of its kind globally. It entered into force one month after being ratified by the 15th State. Thirty-seven African countries have signed the convention, which is only applicable in Africa. [UN Press Release] [Kampala Convention]