The 1969 OAU Refugee Convention at 50


The year 2019 marks 50 years since the 1969 Organization of African Unity Refugee Convention was adopted. This milestone is an opportunity to review its history, implementation and prospects. The Convention has been widely ratified and domesticated and has informed the development of progressive laws. Implementation however faces several challenges, including xenophobia and the tendency to view refugees as a security concern. The Global Compact on Refugees has the potential to support the Convention’s implementation.

About the authors

Tsion Tadesse Abebe is a Senior Researcher with the Migration Programme at the Institute for Security Studies.

Allehone Abebe is a Senior Legal Officer with the AU’s Department of Political Affairs, seconded by UNHCR.

Marina Sharpe is a Senior Legal Officer with UNHCR’s representation to the AU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Picture: UNHCR

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