After publishing the first volume of Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey in 1998, the Norwegian Refugee Council – through its Global IDP Project – was encouraged by the humanitarian community to continue the research process by establishing an online mechanism to improve the accessibility of IDP information.
The legal researcher seeks to assess the normative clarity, legitimacy, enforcement potential, and empowerment function of the principles created to provide a framework for protection of IDPs.
As researchers strive to make their work policy-relevant, is there a danger that we may inadvertently adopt the perspectives and language of international and state actors and disregard the perspectives and experiences of those people we refer to as the internally displaced?
There are a number of key methodological and ethical problems confronting social scientists doing field work in humanitarian situations, where the subjects of the research are directly affected by conflict and displacement – whether they are refugees, IDPs or hosts.
The search for an answer gives rise to further questions.
Prior to elections in 1992 and 1995 ethnic cleansing initiated by political leaders left some 300,000 Kenyans homeless.
Guesstimates of IDP populations in conflict-affected countries vary enormously as many different humanitarian actors gather and present data.
As internal displacement is often an indicator of state failure, Guatemala’s ongoing displacement crisis cannot be analysed without regard to the country’s legal system and the political and economic context in which it functions.
Angolans have now lived in peace for a whole year. The official number of IDPs declined from 4.1 to 2.8 million in 2002. Has the crisis of displacement in Angola finally come to an end?
Over a quarter of a million Palestinian citizens of Israel, 25% of the country’s Palestinian Arab population, are internally displaced.
As researchers, one of our roles should be to challenge taken-for-granted attitudes and policies related to internal displacement.
UNHCR’s mandate does not specifically refer to IDPs per se – hardly surprising, as the IDP concept was not in existence when the agency was established.
In 2001, prior to the current cessation of hostilities, the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement, embarked on a programme to operationalise the Guiding Principles in order to enhance protection and assistance for the estimated 0.8m IDPs in the north and east of the island.
Between 1984 and 1999 continuous low-intensity conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish insurgents in south-east Turkey led to the evacuation of around 3,500 Kurdish villages and produced one of the world’s largest IDP populations – estimated by NGOs at around three million.
Displaced people are vulnerable because their resources have been depleted by war, conflict or natural disasters.
Do psychiatrists understand the consequences of the violence and human rights abuses suffered by IDPs? What happens when the hegemonic Western psychiatric model of traumatisation is applied to IDPs?
The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), located in south-eastern Bangladesh between India and Burma, are comprised of jungles inhabited by non-Bengali ethnic minorities known collectively as Jummas. Formerly a part of East Pakistan, it become a part of Bangladesh in 1971.
While we are becoming aware of the impact of large dams on the lives of marginal peoples, do we know enough about the different effects on men and women?
The border conflict that erupted in May 1998 along the thousand-kilometre border between Ethiopia and Eritrea left behind a legacy of displacement, insecurity, damaged public infrastructure and the loss of household assets and livelihoods of more than 300,000 IDPs and a further 95,000 Ethiopians forced to leave Eritrea.
Under apartheid, South Africa witnessed massive politically-motivated displacements, condemned by the UN as crimes against humanity.
Recently Macedonia has hosted large numbers of refugees fleeing conflict in former Yugoslavia while also dealing with major internal displacement generated by ethnic conflict.
IDP debates have focused more on the nature of protection rather than on imbalance between levels of assistance and protection provided to different groups.
What are the ongoing consequences of the demographic engineering carried out in Indonesia to implement ex-President Suharto’s New Order?
Conflicts in several areas in Indonesia have displaced large numbers of people.
In Tarlabasi, an inner-city slum neighbourhood of Istanbul, the majority of the population are Kurds who, in the last 10-15 years, have migrated from their villages in eastern and southeastern Anatolia.
Are we at risk of making artificial distinctions between different groups of displaced people? Has the category of people who may be described as Development-Induced Displacees (DIDs) been overlooked by the IDP community?