Case-studies from Uganda, Colombia, Yemen and El Salvador

Four short case-studies offer examples of positive developments in the areas of disaster mitigation, disaggregated use of data, allocation of land, and a new law on IDP protection.


Uganda: mitigation of displacement in landslide-prone areas

Uganda conducted a hazard risk profile of the entire country, compiling a database (under the aegis of the Office of the Prime Minister) which includes biometric registration details of persons in landslide-prone areas. These data are being used to implement a ten-year programme to relocate households on a voluntary basis from high-risk areas in the Mount Elgon area to safer areas in Bulambuli District. As part of this programme, the government buys and develops land for settlement and encourages residents at high risk of displacement to relocate. The project is based on a whole-of-government approach, involving all relevant ministries, and all contracts for construction and service provision stay within the government. The government provides housing, infrastructure, services and income-generating activities, and initially ploughs the land for the community. Around 240 households had been resettled by October 2019.[1]


Colombia: disaggregating data to show progress towards durable solutions

Colombia’s Victims’ Registry is a State registry that includes details of over nine million people whose rights have been violated as a consequence of armed conflict and violence since 1985, including over eight million people displaced internally. The Registry is a technical and administrative tool designed to help victims to access assistance and reparations. Capturing and differentiating the needs of IDPs and victims of other crimes, the Registry is additionally used to create public policies and support durable solutions for IDPs. Nearly 6,000 land restitution judgements have been issued and, according to the Victims’ Unit, 1,156,401 monetary compensations have been paid to victims, half of whom are IDPs. The Registry also allows for assistance and reparations to communities that suffered collective damage or violations due to violence or conflict.


Yemen: allocation of land by local authorities for IDPs evicted from informal settlements

After informally hosting 109 internally displaced families on her land in Aden governorate for around one year, a private owner informed the IDPs of her wish to regain use of her land. The Executive Unit for IDPs (the government agency responsible for IDP protection and assistance) negotiated with the owner to allow the IDPs to remain until an alternative could be provided. Within six months, the IDPs were relocated to a newly serviced urban site with improved security of tenure in another district of Aden governorate. This case highlighted the challenges for IDPs living in informal settlements; the need for identification of land and housing solutions for IDPs at risk of eviction; the critical role of local authorities in finding solutions together with international actors; and the importance of relocation planning and including the local host community in the plan. International technical guidance and financial support were essential in informing and facilitating the steps that were taken to transform the allocated land into a serviced and viable settlement.


El Salvador: a new law on protection of IDPs

In 2020, El Salvador adopted a new law on internal displacement in line with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement with support from UNHCR and civil society organisations.[2] The main catalyst for this process was a Constitutional Court ruling in 2018 which ordered Parliament to issue special regulations within six months pertaining to the protection of IDPs.[3] The deadline and follow-up mechanisms established by the Constitutional Court put pressure on the Parliament and the Executive. Other essential factors that contributed to the adoption of the law included: an exchange of good practices with Colombia and Honduras; mobilising of political will through a large forum; lobbying and media events by public institutions, civil society and others; formation of a bill-drafting technical team that included international experts; and participation of IDPs and civil society in meetings with the Executive and through written testimonies sent to the Committee on Legislation and Constitutional Matters.




[2] El Salvador: Ley especial para la atención y protección integral de personas en condición de desplazamiento forzado interno, 23 January 2020

[3] El Salvador: Sentencia sobre desplazamiento forzado (Amparo 411-2017), 13 July 2018  


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