ECOWAS is reinforcing its commitment to curbing the increase in refugees and the internally displaced by working on the root causes of the problem.
This was disclosed at the presentation of an ECOWAS legal framework concerning Refugees and displaced persons in Lome, Togo
The high spate of movement of persons across state and across borders in the world has made it hard to get an accurate estimate of Refugees and the internally displaced
According to the United Nations, 71 million people have been forced out of their homes, but with the current realities of unrest and insecurity around the world this figure could be as high as 100 million.
West Africa takes a fair share of this figure, with the numbers of refugees and displaced persons in the region put at 4, 841, 437 by the United Nations.
The Ecowas Commissioner for social affairs and gender, Siga Fatima Jagne says this figure will increase this year as forecasts show the region will experience more rain and increased flooding
This brought further emphasis on the need for all member countries to to ratify the kampala convention of October 2009.
11 of the 15 ECOWAS countries have actually ratified the convention leaving Guinea, Ghana and Senegal while Cape Verde is yet to sign the treaty.
Representatives of international organizations present also harped on the need for parliamentarians at regional and country level to include legal backing for healthcare, shelter and food security for the internally displaced and refugees in order to develop a community standard.