This chapter discusses the legislative history of the African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance of IDPs (the Kampala Convention), and identifies, by examining the preparatory work with respect to the drafting of the Convention, its genesis, rationale and legal sources.1

The Executive Council of the African Union adopted a landmark decision in 2004 requesting the ‘the Commission to collaborate with relevant cooperating partners and other stakeholders to ensure that internally displaced persons are provided with an appropriate legal framework to ensure their adequate protection and assistance’.2 Two ministerial meetings involving high-level government officials in charge of forced displacement were held in 2006 and 2008.3 A series of legal experts’ meetings and consultations among partner organisations of the African Union has also been held. The Convention was finally signed at the first AU Special Summit of heads of state and government hosted by the government of Uganda in October 2009. The summit also endorsed a declaration.4