Daily Archives: February 21, 2012

From National Responsibility to Response – Part I: General Conclusions on IDP Protection

by Elizabeth Ferris, Erin Mooney and Chareen Stark

The Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement recently released a study entitled “From Responsibility to Response: Assessing National Response to Internal Displacement“. The study examined 15 out of the 20 countries with the highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to conflict, generalized violence and human rights violations—Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen.

According to estimates, these 15 countries represent over 70 percent of the world’s 27.5 million conflict-induced IDPs.  Wherever possible, we also tried to include government efforts to address internal displacement by natural disasters. But in this and the subsequent blog post, we will focus on our main general conclusions as well as particular issues around housing, land and property (HLP) rights that emerged from our analysis (see Part II of this posting).

The study looks at how governments have fared in terms of implementing 12 practical steps (“benchmarks”) to prevent and address internal displacement, as outlined in the 2005 Brookings publication entitled “Addressing Internal Displacement: A Framework for National Responsibility.” The 12 benchmarks are as follows:

1. Prevent displacement and minimize its adverse effects.
2. Raise national awareness of the problem.
3. Collect data on the number and conditions of IDPs.
4. Support training on the rights of IDPs.
5. Create a legal framework for upholding the rights of IDPs.
6. Develop a national policy on internal displacement.
7. Designate an institutional focal point on IDPs.
8. Support national human rights institutions to integrate internal displacement into their work.
9. Ensure the participation of IDPs in decisionmaking.
10. Support durable solutions.
11. Allocate adequate resources to the problem.
12. Cooperate with the international community when national capacity is insufficient.

Stepping back from HLP issues (to be addressed in a subsequent set of comments in Part II of this guest posting), we drew several key observations on our overall findings. Continue reading