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Sulaiman-Ibrahim List Gains of Domesticating Kampala Convention on IDPs

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The Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Hon Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has said that Nigeria has a lot to benefit from the on-going workshop on domestication of the African Union Convention on Internally Displaced Persons (Kampala Convention), as it would provide a clearer and stronger legal basis for the protection of (IDPs),among others.

 

According to the Commissioner, Article 3 (2) of the KC provides that State Parties should incorporate, that is domesticate the KC into its domestic laws by enacting or amending relevant legislation.

 

Addressing delegates and international partners on Thursday in Lagos, Sulaiman Ibrahim, stated that the move, marks the start of a new phase of inter-institutional engagement in the development of the long-awaited stand-alone domestication.

 

She added that the Kampala Convention (KC) is a pioneering instrument, the first legally binding instrument on IDPs, and is a standard-setting international instrument of regional scope on how to provide protection and assistance as well as durable solutions for IDPs throughout the continent of Africa.

 

She expressed that the domestication would address the unique characteristics of internal displacement in African countries.

 

” It provides an appropriate legal framework for the protection and assistance of IDPs. It is geared towards ending internal displacements by addressing the root causes, providing durable solutions, and enhancing or addressing gaps where no legal instrument protects the housing, land, and property (HLP) rights of the vulnerable IDP.”

 

She noted that the Kampala Convention covers all causes and phases of internal displacement and expressly commits both State parties and other stakeholders to act, to the extent of their capacity, to prevent displacement and to assist and protect internally displaced persons throughout their displacement until a durable solution is found.

 

The federal commissioner, who was the chief host of the event, applauded the commitment and consistent efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, in ensuring a coordinated approach towards social inclusion to combat the effects of poverty and for strengthening the nation’s existing social safety net initiatives and providing succour for our Persons of Concern.

 

She also applauded and recognised the Federal Ministry of Justice, the leadership of the National Assembly and all other stakeholders, including the Economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their numerous support to the commission and expressed hope that the Bill before the National Assembly would be passed into law soon.

 

“With utmost respect, I take the liberty to recognize and applaud the commitment and consistent efforts of the government, and our dear President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and I also want to acknowledge our Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, for her patience, drive and sense of purpose in ensuring a holistic coordination of all sectors in the humanitarian sphere. You are truly our “Mama Persons of Concern”.

 

“I want to extend my appreciation to the UNHCR for their ongoing technical and financial assistance, as well as to the technical officials in the Ministry and Commission for their contributions so far and for the knowledge they will provide during this Retreat. It is anticipated that drafting this law as a stand-alone Bill would avoid inclinations that hampered the Bill’s ascension through the draft NCFRMI Bill.

The representative of the United Nation Refugee Agency, Deputy Representative, (Protection), John McKissick, stated that the collective vision is that all internally displaced people can find protection from harm, live

peacefully, learn, work and flourish as contributing members of the communities in which they live, and find longer term solutions to build a secure future, leaving no one behind. UNHCR as the UN Sector

 

The UNHCR promised to continue to support the process to final domestication.

 

“We are also committed to closely follow the processes to ensure state laws are consistent with the Kampala Convention.

We will mobilize support and provide technical expertise where required. We will scale up capacity building with different stakeholders including the affected population, on the principles and benefits of the Convention, and ultimately focus our advocacy on the Government for resource allocation towards implementation.

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