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ECOWAS Sensitization Tour on Kampala Convention

An important ECOWAS Commission delegation set off from Côte d’Ivoire on Monday the 29th June en route to Liberia and Nigeria on a mission of sensitization on the Kampala Convention, with a view to advocating its ratification and ensuring its ownership and implementation.

Led by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr Fatimata Dia Sow, the mission aims to sensitize the authorities and stakeholders on the need to ratify, take ownership, and implement this African Union Convention.

The delegation is also expected to enlighten its various contacts on the similarities between the Kampala Convention and the ECOWAS humanitarian policy (and its plan of action) as an instrument for the implementation of the convention which hinges on the protection and assistance of internally-displaced persons in Africa.

Known as the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, this first global binding instrument adopted at continental level to protect and assist internally-displaced persons came into force on 6 December 2012.

The first 15 countries to ratify the convention were: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Chad, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. The other 37 signatory countries, all Member States of the AU, are yet to ratify the text and are therefore not legally bound to implement the convention.

The AU adopted the convention with the purpose of preventing displacements and assisting persons forced to leave their homes, and of providing lasting solutions to enable them rebuild their lives.

The convention is a binding global instrument that expounds the various causes of internal displacement such as conflicts, widespread violence, man-made or natural disasters, as well as development projects such as dam construction or industrial agriculture.

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