Introduction: The Relevant Facts
Migration and Refugees
On December 6, 2012, the worldâs first regional treaty on internal displacement came into force. Adopted in Kampala, Uganda, during an October 2009 Special Summit of Heads of State and Government on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, the African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (the âKampala Conventionâ) has been signed by thirty-six African states and ratified by fifteen.
Between 2007 and 2009, Italy and Libya (then under the rule of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi) concluded several agreements to combat clandestine immigration. Pursuant to these agreements, Italy instated a policy of sending undocumented migrants and asylum seekers who had crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Africa back to Libya. In a number of cases, boats were intercepted on the high seas, and those on board were taken back to Libya without a prior individualized assessment of their situation and protection needs.