An African Union treaty to protect internally displaced persons, known as the Kampala Convention, came into effect last week following its ratification by a 15th state. In an email interview, Megan Bradley, a fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, discussed the convention.
WPR: What are the Kampala Convention's main provisions?
Megan Bradley: As the world’s first binding agreement on internally displaced persons (IDPs), the Kampala Convention is a human rights milestone. It takes a comprehensive approach, addressing multiple causes of displacement, such as conflict, human rights violations, natural disasters and development projects such as dams. Its provisions tackle every stage of displacement, including the prevention of displacement, assistance and protection during displacement crises and the resolution of displacement situations. The convention affirms that national governments bear primary responsibility for protecting and assisting those who are displaced within their borders, but it also addresses the obligations of a range of actors, including U.N. agencies, NGOs, the African Union, multinational corporations, nonstate armed groups and private security actors.