The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced

The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced

The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced

The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced

Synopsis

The coerced displacement of people within the borders of their own countries by armed conflicts, internal strife, and systematic violations of human rights has become a pervasive feature of the post Cold War era. The plight of the displaced poses a challenge that is not only humanitarian but a threat to the security and stability of countries, regions, and, through a chain effect, the international system. This book contains case studies of ten countries that have suffered severe problems of internal displacement: Burundi, Rwanda, Liberia, and the Sudan in Africa; the former Yugoslavia and the Caucasus in Europe; Tajikistan and Sri Lanka in Asia; and Colombia and Peru in the Americas. The contributors are Thomas Greene, Randolph C. Kent, Jennifer McLean, Larry Minear, Liliana Obregsn, Amir Pasic, Hiram A. Ruiz, Colin Scott, H.L. Seneviratne, Maria Stavropoulou, and Thomas G. Weiss. Additionally, the contributors and editors offer recommendations for further action.

Excerpt

Since the end of the cold war, increasing numbers of persons in countries around the world have been forced from their homes by armed conflict, internal strife, and systematic violations of human rights. Unlike refugees, who cross a border and have recourse to an established system of international protection and assistance, those who are displaced internally fall within the domestic jurisdiction and therefore under the sovereignty of the state. They are nearly always destitute and acutely in need of international protection. However, they are without legal or institutional bases for receiving protection and assistance from the international community. For this very reason, internal displacement poses a challenge to the international community to develop norms, institutions, and operating strategies for prevention, addressing its consequences, and finding durable solutions.

The international community's recognition of the magnitude of the crisis and the urgent need for action led the secretary-general of the United Nations, at the request of the Commission on Human Rights, to appoint a representative on internally displaced persons. in 1992 the assignment was given to Francis M. Deng, senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution and a former Sudanese diplomat. His mandate as representative has largely focused on developing legal and institutional frameworks for providing international protection and assistance to the internally displaced and engaging governments and other actors in dialogues in an effort to improve their conditions. the idea for this study emerged from discussions between former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Deng. the . . .

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