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Stakeholder Workshop Report – The role of free movement of persons agreements in addressing disaster displacement in Africa

In November 2019, the PDD, in partnership with the Development of the Rule of Law Programme (DROP), Stellenbosch University and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), convened a Stakeholder Workshop on the ‘Role of Free Movement of Persons Agreements in Addressing Disaster Displacement in Africa’ (PDD Free Movement Stakeholder Workshop) in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The PDD Free Movement Stakeholder Workshop brought together more than 30 policymakers, experts and  researchers from three of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs), namely: the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD); and, the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Participants in the workshop included representatives from government ministries dealing with home affairs, migration, regional integration, disaster management, and civil defense and protection.

Building on the 2019 PDD Free Movement Study, the workshop aimed to further explore the role that free movement agreements could play in addressing disaster displacement in Africa by exploring the opportunities and limitations such agreements present, identifying strategies to enhance the role they could play in addressing disaster displacement in the future, and identifying key areas for further research. Through a combination of plenary presentations and group work sessions, workshop participants shared experiences, identified common themes and regional variations, and explored the current status and future potential of free movement agreements in addressing disaster displacement.


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