As part of its commitment to fulfilling the 2019 theme; “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”, the African Union Commission is set to host the 7th Humanitarian Symposium in Nairobi, Kenya, next week.
The symposium which is slated to kick off on the 18th and end on the 20th of November, is focused on addressing the forced displacement in Africa from a gender dimension and most importantly, discuss durable solutions.
The increasing number of people that are forcibly displaced in Africa continues to present enormous humanitarian challenges. Africa is home to over 25.2 million forcibly displaced persons, made up of 7.4 million refugees and 17.8 million IDPs.
At the core of forced displacements in Africa are violent conflicts and disasters, which have exacerbated gender inequalities, particularly against women and children. Women and girls make up half of the population in refugee camps in Africa.
The continent’s displacement camps play host to the world’s highest number of forcibly displaced persons, constituting about one third of the entire population of the continent, of which women and children make up – 59% and 51% simultaneously.
In appreciation of the need to guarantee the protection of women and girls during displacement, the African Union (AU) has over the years adopted normative and policy frameworks providing a focused approach to gender dimensions of forced displacement.
So, in view of all of these, the Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Division of the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, in collaboration with the African Governance Architecture Secretariat, will convene the 7th Humanitarian Symposium, themed; “Gender Dimension Of Forced Displacement In Africa: Towards Durable Solutions”, in Kenya.
The thematic focus of the humanitarian symposium would include; gendered approach to forced displacement in Africa, rei-magining durable solutions for gender inclusivity and addressing violence against displaced women and girls.
The overall goal of the 2019 Humanitarian Symposium is to provide a collaborative, open and inclusive space to leverage and foster meaningful participation of women towards the achievement of durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa.
Specific objectives of the symposium are:
- Provide a platform for policy and inter-generational reflections on the gendered dimension to forced displacement in Africa and create a collaborative space for ideation and innovation towards durable solutions;
- Increase the understanding of normative and institutional frameworks that exist at national, regional continental and international levels on gender and forced displacement;
- Provide a space for women and girls in forced displacement to share their experiences and contribute to the gendered dimension discourse of forced displacement in Africa;
- Build up the momentum on gender equality and women’s rights, with focus on situations of forced displacement in Africa; and
- Encourage greater inclusion of women and girls in forced displacement in political and socio-economic policy dialogues and decision-making processes.
The symposium is however expected to derive a discussion paper and/or policy brief on the theme of the Symposium, with recommendations to enhance individual programming of national, regional, continental and international actors working on durable solutions, including AU Policy Organs, African Governance Platform Members and UN Agencies;
It is also expected to produce a proceedings report and outcome statement that will form part of the Outcomes of the 2019 High-Level Dialogue of the African Governance Platform and subsequently the report of the Champion of the Year to the AU Assembly.
Expected to participate in the symposium are Line Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including Member States Experts; Representatives of AU Policy Organs, Returnees and IDPs; Members of the African Governance Platform; Civil society organizations; Development partners and International Humanitarian Agencies, including UN Agencies; and African Diaspora.