Work on conflict-induced forced displacement is at a crucial moment, at a tipping point. Now is the time to consolidate the shift towards full global recognition that the challenge of forced displacement is an integral part of the development agenda too.
Attempts to address the drivers of forced displacement and to provide sustainable solutions for refugees, IDPs and returnees need a more nuanced understanding of the drivers of violence and of war-to-peace transitions.
More than three years after the cessation of refugee status for Liberian refugees, the viability of the ECOWAS integration scheme implemented as a solution for those Liberians who continued to stay in Ghana is seen to be limited.
In post-conflict Liberia and Sierra Leone, partnerships that were mutually supportive and that included the displaced themselves facilitated rapid and enduring results.
With the prospect of peace comes the need to find solutions for those displaced during 50 years of fighting. Solutions will not come without comprehensive attention to the factors affecting IDPs and refugees.
There is value in creating space within a humanitarian response to invest in interventions that go beyond addressing the immediate risks and needs. This is particularly the case in relation to women’s empowerment.
The World Bank brings distinctive qualities to the role it can play in furthering the humanitarian to development transition and is significantly scaling up its engagement on forced displacement.
Elderly people are likely to face specific constraints in displacement, yet the durable solutions devised by many states tend to follow a one-size-fits-all approach. The implementation of transitional but workable solutions can at least alleviate some of the adverse socio-economic and psychological challenges that displacement poses for the elderly.
The international community has been piloting an integrated humanitarian, development and government response to the crisis in the region of Syria.
Development has its place in dealing with the roots of displacement but it is not an alternative either to important measures in the realm of foreign policy, trade policy and humanitarian assistance, or to taking responsibility for refugees coming to Europe now.
While refugee families lack access to work and struggle to survive, there are skills gaps around the world that could benefit from skilled refugees’ talents. Developing a system for refugees to be able to compete for international jobs with multinational companies would provide a legal migration path for many.
Palestine refugees in Lebanon, being classified as foreigners or migrants, suffer restrictions on their employment.
Engaging refugees in the economic development of Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Province would provide them with livelihoods and also combat the perception that they are a burden on society.
The Solutions Alliance is exploring ways of better engaging with the private sector – local small and medium-sized enterprises as well as international companies – to harness their capacity to turn displacement challenges into development opportunities.
In situations of internal displacement, a variety of political, operational, ethical and practical challenges complicate our understanding and response and the adequate implementation of durable solutions.
If protection capacity building is successful, it can contribute to establishing asylum systems that lead to local integration.
The normal approach to energy delivery during refugee crises tends to lock in reliance on dirty, dangerous and expensive fuels. Sustainable energy solutions require a long-term planning framework. There are opportunities to align the energy resilience and access goals of host nations with the greening of humanitarian operations and objectives for refugee self-reliance.
Uganda has chosen inclusion over marginalisation; rather than coerce refugees into camps, Uganda upholds their rights to work, to attend school and to move freely.
In camp-like settlements, the aid provided by aid agencies with a development orientation can do little more than improve livelihood conditions.
Oral histories provide a means to productively include forcibly displaced people, through their voices, in the work and practices of those looking for solutions for displacement crises.
Securing refugees’ access to work opportunities would help to ameliorate the problems associated with a primarily humanitarian response. Market analyses can match gaps in the economy with refugees’ skills.
The strategies of Yemeni refugees in Somalia are extensively based on the social networks and cultural linkages that exist between the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Meanwhile, Somali refugees returning from Yemen need to find safer areas within Somalia.
The Brazilian government has extended an allowance, which was created to assist poor Brazilian families, to refugees.
The continuation of the predicament of those who remain displaced from the Kashmir Valley since 1989 results from the unintended consequences of past policies. Transitioning from the ‘temporary’ policies that keep the displaced communities intact in ‘safe zones’ to policies that aim to secure long-term solutions presents moral dilemmas for policymakers.
While officially refugee return is counted as return to within the borders of one’s country of citizenship, ‘home’ for returnees must also be considered against other parameters. Gender and kinship intersect with a variety of other important factors in differential experiences of return.
Tanzania’s offer of citizenship to some 200,000 refugees received international attention and support. Acknowledging the strengths and flaws of this model could potentially help unlock other situations of protracted displacement around the world.
Tanzania’s refugee integration could serve as a blueprint for expanding the framework of durable solutions globally.
Refugees can contribute significantly to the economy of countries of refuge. Legal, structural and political backing is crucial to strengthen this contribution and maximise the opportunities that are present.
So-called stabilisation contexts are risky for repatriation and therefore it is especially important to maintain the legal and practical difference between mandatory and voluntary repatriation.
Loud nationalistic voices and powerful vested interests stand in the way of cooperation between the Rakhine and Muslim communities and solving displacement.
Incorporating refugee-run organisations into development programmes, potentially as implementing partners, provides a means to capitalise on refugees’ skills, reach refugees who may not be affiliated with international organisations, and take steps to close the relief-development gap in protracted refugee situations.
Over the last three years, the Solutions Alliance has gradually emerged as a multi-stakeholder initiative to overcome the so-called humanitarian-development divide.
Huge numbers of people in Nigeria’s north-east have been affected by poverty, environmental degradation and, specifically, Boko Haram violence. The need to bring our collective understanding and resources to such a setting is obvious – so why does action to do so remain elusive and what can be done to set things on the right course?
Given the levels of uncertainty that surround mining activities, it is questionable whether current planning practices can safeguard against the risks associated with displacement and resettlement, and whether industry practice is consistent with the responsibility to respect human rights.
By the end of February 2016, Canada had fulfilled its promise to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. However, this initiative has put a considerable strain on the settlement services that refugees receive after arrival, and raises questions about fair treatment for other refugees.
Poor age assessment procedures may have devastating consequences. New guidance for social workers in England aims to help ensure that the age of asylum-seeking children is assessed more fairly, more ethically and more accurately.
Assisted Voluntary Return programmes often send women and children back to places of insecurity and uncertainty. Analysis of practice in the UK highlights the inherent problems and the need to re-examine this type of programme.
Sweden’s recent turnaround on asylum was triggered by various factors, including insufficient domestic preparedness and the humanitarian failures of other EU countries.
Following the passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act in December 2013, hundreds of LGBT individuals fled to Kenya seeking safety. A variety of interventions is needed in both Uganda and Kenya to respond effectively.
There is little protection and assistance available for Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries, especially as these countries are predominantly non-signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention. It is consequently hard for refugees to support themselves – and to keep safe.
A non-signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Lebanon does not grant refugee status to Iraqis, many of whom end up spending long periods of time in detention.
Communication of information has emerged as a particular concern for camp residents in Thailand since discussions about repatriation gained momentum in the past few years.