Engendering Protection: An Analysis of the 2009 Kampala Convention and Its Provisions for Internally Displaced Women


Groth, Lauren. 2011. “Engendering Protection: An Analysis of the 2009 Kampala Convention and Its Provisions for Internally Displaced Women.” International Journal of Refugee Law 23 (2): 221-51.

Author: Lauren Groth


On 23 October 2009, the African Union officially adopted the Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention). The product of over two years of deliberation and consultation with AU member states and partners, the Kampala Convention represents an important step in the development of legally binding instruments of protection for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Such an accomplishment, while commendable, comes at a time of increasing insecurity and violence for IDPs, especially internally displaced women, who are disproportionately represented within this population. This article considers the legal protections encompassed within the Kampala Convention from a gendered perspective, analyzing the extent to which the Convention adequately acknowledges and addresses the unique vulnerabilities of internally displaced women. Specifically, the article considers the ways in which the Kampala Convention includes women in the drafting process, expands conceptions of gender-based violence, encourages protections of economic, social, and cultural rights, and extends obligations to non-state actors. In sum, the article argues that, while the progressive legal developments of the African Union deserve much praise, there remain continued limitations in conferring adequate protection to the most prevalent victims of internal conflict: internally displaced women.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women Regions: Africa

Year: 2011

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