Edited by Vincent Chetail and Céline Bauloz
Chapter 26: The African contribution to the protection of internally displaced persons: A commentary on the 2009 Kampala Convention
With the adoption on 22 October 2009 of the African Union (AU) Convention for the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in Africa - also known as the Kampala Convention - Africa has acted as a pioneer in the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs). This Convention, which entered into force on 6 December 2006, is the first, and for now only, continent-wide legally binding instrument on the protection of IDPs. The magnitude of the issue of displacement in the African continent warranted a regional response that Member States addressed by drafting and adopting this crucial document. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), an international non-governmental organization monitoring conflict-induced internal displacement worldwide, 40 per cent of the world's IDPs live in Africa. On the basis of data about internal displacement in 18 sub-Saharan African countries, IDMC estimates that, in 2012, 9.7 million people were displaced by conflict and violence in the continent. Sudan, notably the Darfur region, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia are the countries most affected by violence and conflict-induced displacement. One should add to this figure, the growing number of people displaced by natural disasters such as the thousands of IDPs displaced by drought in the Horn of Africa. In 2012, it is estimated that 8.2 million people were newly displaced in Africa because of natural disasters. This figure is believed to be four times more than in any of the previous four years.
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