International Humanitarian Law: A Need for Legal Protection to Address the Mismanagement of Humanitarian Aid in IDP Camps in Nigeria

82 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2019

See all articles by Adenitan OLUFEMI

Adenitan OLUFEMI

University of Ibadan, Faculty of Law, Students

Date Written: February 25, 2018


Over time, Nigeria has encountered internal displacement. The challenges of displacement have now become a national concern as Farmer-herders conflict has been attributed to be one of the major causes of displacement in the country. The realities of climate change and global warming also have affected the ecosystem causing internal displacement hence; there is need for urgent legal protection for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

With the increasing rate of vulnerability in displacement, the research examines the causes and effects of internal displacement in Nigeria. It also evaluates the legal framework which seeks to protect the rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The paper critically reviews the provision of the Kampala Convention and the United Nations Guiding Principle on Internal Displacement and protection of displaced victims.

The research adopts a doctrinal and library-based approach to examine the provisions of the law on the protection of IDPs in Nigeria. Thus, primary and secondary sources of law were relied on. The primary sources include the Kampala convention, amended 1999 constitution of Nigeria, International Treaties, conventions and resolutions, National Emergency Management Agency Act and semi structured Interviews. The secondary sources include articles, journals, books, newspapers and internet materials.

A case study of the government-controlled camps in Benue state was done and the research unveils the poor management of humanitarian aid and relief items meant for victims. The research also finds that in Nigeria, there is no enforceable legislation which aims to protect the rights of the displaced persons and its calls for urgent national assembly efforts to protect vulnerable victims.

The research concludes that there is need to rethink humanitarian assistance to victims by adopting a strategic approach to ensure that the relief materials appropriately target the victims. Hence, the paper recommends the domestication of Kampala convention and amendment of Nigeria constitution to guarantee more protection for displaced persons in Nigeria.

Keywords: Human Right, Internally Displaced Persons, Humanitarian Law, Nigeria

Suggested Citation

OLUFEMI, Adenitan, International Humanitarian Law: A Need for Legal Protection to Address the Mismanagement of Humanitarian Aid in IDP Camps in Nigeria (February 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Adenitan OLUFEMI (Contact Author)

University of Ibadan, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

+2348030900257 (Phone)

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