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Part III Regional Regimes, Ch.15 Regional Refugee Regimes: Africa

Marina Sharpe

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law

Edited By: Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 February 2024


This chapter highlights the African approach to refugees, analysing the regional legal framework anchored by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Convention. The regional legal regime for refugees includes treaty and institutional components. The treaty framework is comprised of the Refugee and OAU conventions and international and regional human rights law, including but not limited to the two covenants, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and African instruments on the rights of women and children. The chapter then addresses regional organizations with relevant mandates: African Union (AU) bodies and judicial organs including the AU Commission, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. It also looks at the role of civil society, as well as contemporary refugee protection achievements and challenges. These include the implementation, in terms of both refugee status determination and rights, of the regional legal framework in national jurisdictions; the rise of displacement in the context of climate change and disasters; and the relationship between European Union policy responses to the so-called migration crisis and refugee protection in Africa.

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