Every year on 6 December, the African Union (AU) comes together to celebrate the anniversary of the Kampala Convention, which came into force in 2012. Formally known as the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, it is the world’s first continental instrument that legally binds governments to protect the rights and wellbeing of people forced to flee their homes by conflict, violence, disasters and human rights abuses. The convention is a shared framework, but the continent’s diverse realities and challenges mean that individual countries have taken different approaches to it.


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About Internal Displacement in Africa:

Africa has more countries affected by displacement than any other continent, and is home to more than 12 million internally displaced people (IDPs.)


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12 ways the Kampala Convention provides IDPs with legal protection

  1. Reinforces states’ primary responsibility to protect IDPs
  2. Establishes a legally binding definition of an IDP
  3. Addresses potential causes of displacement
  4. Facilities the adoption of national legislation on IDPs’ protection and assistance, and policies that aim to address displacement issues
  5. Emphasises the need to secure funding to ensure IDPs’ protection and assistance
  6. Acknowledges the roles of all those involved in responding to displacement and sets out the actions required during its different phases
  7. It enshrines individuals’ right to be protected from displacement and states’ duty to adopt all measures needed to prevent it 
  8. Holds all those involved, including private and multinational companies, accountable for their actions
  9. Prohibits armed groups from committing acts of arbitrary displacement
  10. States that IDPs should not be discriminated against on the basis of their displacement, and that people with special needs should receive adequate protection and assistance according to their vulnerability
  11. Stipulates that states must collaborate with civil society and humanitarian organisations to ensure IDPs’ protection and assistance if they do not have the resources to do so themselves
  12. Makes national authorities responsible for creating the conditions required to achieve durable solutions






2014 | Publication

The Kampala Convention two years on: time to turn theory into practice

The paper illustrates the Kampala Convention's achievements two years later, and how signatory countries have taken different approaches to implementing its provisions.

2013 | Publication

The Kampala Convention one year on: Progress and prospects

In this report, the African Union Commission together with the IDMC look back to see what progress has been made since it came into force last year.

2012 | Publication

Internal displacement and the Kampala Convention: an opportunity for development actors

Analytical Paper on the Relevance of Human Rights Approaches for Development Activities Targeting Conflict- and Disaster-Induced Displacement in Africa

2010 | Publication

Making the Kampala Convention work for IDPs

Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the experiences, laws and policies of African states, the Kampala Convention represents an important milestone in the protection of IDPs’ rights.

2010 | Publication

African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)

Download the full text of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, also known as the Kampala Convention