An X-Ray of the Legal and Institutional Framework for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria Under the Context of International Humanitarian Law


According to Ban Ki-Moon, a former UN Secretary-General, displacement is still likely the worst humanitarian issue the world is now experiencing. In Nigeria, the movement of internally displaced persons (IDP) has continued to increase due to inter and intra communal crises, intra-state and inter-regional armed conflicts including other natural disaster situations. Internally displaced people (IDPs), as well as the local governments and host communities suffer significant effects as a result of internal displacement. The intendment of this paper is to x-ray the legal and institutional frameworks regulating the protection, welfare and wellbeing of internally displaced persons in Nigeria, under the context of international humanitarian law. The doctrinal methodology was used to examine main and secondary legal sources, including statutes and case law, to ascertain the scope of the Nigerian government and its agencies’ involvement in providing humanitarian aid to internally displaced people. The paper sought to ascertain whether international humanitarian law was being followed with regard to security, access to food, water, and medical care in IDP centers, and whether there was political will on the part of the Nigerian government and its agencies to deal with insurgency in particular and whether or not the Nigerian government is proactive enough in handling emergencies occasioned by natural disasters and or other unforeseeable acts of nature. The paper encouraged the ratification and implementation of conventions and other instruments pertaining to internally displaced persons at the national and local levels, to ensure the safety of the IDP population, particularly women and children.