Armed non-state actors and displacement


Militia, freedom fighters, rebels, terrorists, paramilitaries, revolutionaries, guerrillas, gangs, quasi-state bodies... and many other labels. In this issue of FMR we look at all of these, at actors defined as being armed and being ‘non-state’ – that is to say, without the full responsibilities and obligations of the state.

Some of these armed non-state actors behave responsibly and humanely, at least some of the time. Others seem to have no regard for the damage, distress or deaths that they cause – and may actually use displacement as a deliberate tactic – in pursuit of their goals of power, resources or justice. This issue of FMR looks at a variety of such actors, at their behaviours and at efforts to bring them into frameworks of responsibility and accountability.

This issue of FMR is published in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

We encourage you to circulate or reproduce any articles in their entirety but please cite ‘Forced Migration Review issue 37

FMR# 37 is an expanded contents listing of all articles in this issue of FMR: see link under ‘Reading and download options’ above. It provides for each article:the title, the author(s) and their affiliation, the introductory sentences and a link to the full article online.

Requesting copies
If you usually receive a print copy of FMR, you do not need to request this issue unless you require multiple copies.

If you do NOT usually receive a print copy of FMR and would like to receive a copy of FMR issue 37 for your organisation, or multiple copies for distribution to partners and policy/decision-makers or for use at conferences/workshops, please contact the Editors. We will need your full postal address and details of how many copies (in which language/s) you require.

While we want to share the contents of this issue as widely as possible, we ask you to think carefully about how many print copies you need; please remember that it is available online, that print copies can be shared, and that printing and postage use up more resources than purely money. 

We would like to thank the following donors for providing funding specifically for this issue: the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC/NRC) and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. We would also like to thank all of our regular donors for their continued and valuable support.

Front cover image
We gave a lot of thought to the image for the front cover of this issue of FMR. We did not want to have guns, nor did we want to either glorify or condemn those who carry them through the image we carried. What we wanted to focus on was the damage caused in people’s lives by armed confrontation.