The Kampala Convention: A Significant Achievement of AU in Setting Norms

This article identifies the key contributions of the Kampala Convention through legal analysis and interpretation of its provisions. More importantly, it sketches the most notable and significant contributions of the Kampala Convention in terms of the protection gap it seeks to fill, and its novelty as well as its contributions to the international, regional and national laws governing internal displacement. A Brief Summary of the Kampala Convention Apart from the preamble, the Kampala Convention has 23 articles. The preamble offers the rationale for developing the convention; it contextualizes the international norms such as the GPID to the situation of internal displacement in Africa. Presenting the legal underpinnings within the AU and the UN system, the preamble furnishes the legislative intention of the Kampala Convention. It recognizes the need for a binding instrument to govern internal displacement in Africa. While removing the legal lacuna in the protection of IDPs has motivated the AU to develop the Kampala Convention, the disastrous impact of internal displacement on peace, security, environment and development of countries was another important justification necessitating such a treaty. 2 The remaining provisions of the Kampala Convention cover all the three phases of internal displacement— prevention of displacement, protection and provision of assistance to IDPs during displacement, and durable solution to IDPs in the form of return, relocation or resettlement. 3 The Kampala Convention offers distinctively tailored protection to IDPs. It is comprehensive in terms of covering all phases and causes of internal displacement. It has a human rights-based approach designed to meet the specific needs of IDPs. It details the responsibilities of all actors who come into contact with IDPs. The duties of the AU, UN and RECs, CSOs and aid organizations are enumerated.

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