Making the right to vote of IDPs a reality: Lessons from EthiopiaPosted: 8 July, 2021 Filed under: Enguday Meskele Ashine, Omotunde Enigbokan | Tags: African Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons, displacement, EHRC, election monitoring, elections, Electoral Proclamation, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), IDP, IDPs, Kampala Convention, legislation, national election, National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), political rights, right to political participation, the right to vote 2 Comments
Authors: Enguday Meskele Ashine & Omotunde Enigbokan
Ethiopia held its national election on 21 June 2021. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) participated in the national election by casting their votes at their place of displacement for their respective constituency of origin through absentee ballot procedure. In certain areas, the government of Ethiopia took special measures such as providing logistic and security safeguard in order to enable IDPs to cast their vote.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) played a pivotal role in ensuring that IDPs participated in the national election, through engaging civic societies that advocated for the voting rights of IDPs. Furthermore, the EHRC prepared the Human Rights Agenda for Election 2021. This Agenda ‘calls upon political parties to address human rights protection of vulnerable groups including IDPs in their manifesto.’ In addition, the Commission advocated for electoral participation of IDPs by disseminating explanatory materials on IDPs and election, by conducting election monitoring focusing on IDPs’ participation in the national election and by conducting stakeholder’s discussions highlighting the significance of IDPs’ inclusion in the national election.’