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Better protection for displaced persons in Africa

From today, internally displaced persons in 15 African countries will enjoy better protection through the entry into force of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, also known as the Kampala Convention.

 Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide commented, “I commend the African heads of state and government and the African Union for their work on the Kampala Convention. No other region of the world has a binding legal framework of this kind that protects internally displaced persons.” 

The convention was negotiated in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in the autumn of 2009, and has 36 signatories. Swaziland ratified the convention in November, as the 15th state. This means that it will now come into force. 

As many as 11 million Africans are internally displaced. Worldwide, it is estimated that 28 million people are internally displaced as a result of conflict or other forms of violence. In addition there are those who have been forced to flee their homes due to natural disasters or because their livelihoods have disappeared. They are also covered by the Kampala Convention. 

­“It is vital that the convention is now incorporated into national law and plans, so that those affected can have a more decent life,” said Mr Eide. 

In addition to Swaziland, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda and Zambia have also ratified the convention. 

Norway supports the work on the Kampala Convention both financially and politically.

 

 

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