Nairobi (ICRC)—With 2.6 million people uprooted from their homes in Somalia, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) commends the Somalia government on its action to protect and help displaced families by ratifying the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa—also known as the Kampala Convention.

“We are encouraged by Somalia’s commitment to the rights of displaced Somalis, especially at a time when thousands of people are being uprooted by clashes and climatic shocks,” said Juerg Eglin, ICRC’s head of delegation for Somalia.

Somalia is the 30th state in Africa to ratify the document, the first-ever binding treaty dealing with internal displacement. The ratification marks a very important step for the country in establishing a strong legal framework to help displaced Somalis.

The ICRC was involved in the drafting and negotiation process leading to the adoption of the Convention in 2009. Since its adoption, we have provided technical advice to states on measures to translate the Convention into domestic legal frameworks and put it into action.

As part of its mandate to protect the lives and dignity of people affected by armed conflict and violence, ICRC’s work in Somalia particularly focuses on helping displaced people meet their most basic needs.

“We remain available to provide legal expertise and support to Somalia where needed to translate the Convention into practical steps that make a difference in the lives of internally displaced people,” said Eglin.

Kampala Convention