Liberia: The Eye of the Storm: A Review of the Literature on Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees

Liberia: The Eye of the Storm: A Review of the Literature on Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees

Liberia: The Eye of the Storm: A Review of the Literature on Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees

Liberia: The Eye of the Storm: A Review of the Literature on Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees

Synopsis

This literature review of internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees shows in relation to Liberia, the ongoing conflicts where we lack sufficient understanding of migration patterns and the socio-economic conditions of the displaced, an understanding which is a prerequisite for designing appropriate preventive and mitigating action. This review also highlights the severe lack of protection of civilians in Liberia, children in particular, which leads to forced recruitments to local armed groups as well as exposure to sexual violence.While their most important support generally comes from the communities receiving them, which often have very few resources, international humanitarian organizations have not been able to agree on clear mandates with regard to who should have the overall responsibility for assisting them.

Excerpt

One of the most prominent, and from a humanitarian and human rights perspective most troubling aspects of internal conflicts during recent years is the plight of the internally displaced persons, and refugees. Forced to leave their homes in search of refuge, internally displaced persons often find themselves with little protection, with unclear rights, and without safe livelihoods. While their most important support generally comes from the communities receiving them, which often have very few resources, international humanitarian organisations have not been able to agree on clear mandates with regard to who should have the overall responsibility for assisting them. Although the international community is better organised to care for those who have crossed borders and become refugees, it is still struggling to finetune and coordinate available aid instruments and to mobilize sufficient resources in order to facilitate their postconflict return, resettlement and reintegration.

As this literature review of internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees shows in relation to Liberia, there are ongoing conflicts where we lack sufficient understanding of migration patterns and the socio-economic conditions of the displaced, an understanding which is a prerequisite for designing appropriate preventive and mitigating action. This review also highlights the severe lack of protection of civilians in Liberia, children in particular, which leads to forced recruitments to local armed groups as well as exposure to sexual violence.

It is Sida's ambition to actively learn from experiences and analyses such as those presented in this study, in order to improve the quality of its humanitarian and human rights interventions and thus, ultimately, to contribute to ensuring adequate protection for those who have been forced to leave the safety of their homes.

Johan Schaar

Head of Division for Humanitarian Assistance and Conflict Management Sida . . .

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