The international community is confronted with the monumental task of ensuring protection for persons forcibly uprooted from their homes by violent conflicts, gross violation of human rights and other traumatic events, but who remain within the borders of their own countries. They often suffer from severe deprivation, hardship and discrimination. The Representative of the Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons developed the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement to meet this challenge in the 1990s; they were then endorsed by the IASC. In 2004, the IASC produced practical guidance to help humanitarian country teams implement a collaborative response to situations of internal displacement.
In situations where national authorities are unable or unwilling to meet their responsibilities towards internally displaced persons, international humanitarian and development organizations are expected to provide assistance and protection to IDPS suffering and support national efforts.
The document consists of two parts.
1) Part one introduces the responsibility of the national authorities, the collaborative response and the IASC policy package.
2) Part two sets out roles and responsibilities at headquarters and field level, and implementation of responsibilities of the Humanitarian Coordinator and/or Resident Coordinator and of the country team.
Based on humanitarian risk analysis and/or early warning assessments, Country Teams and Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs)/Resident Coordinators (RCs) need to be aware of all factors that could potentially lead to displacement or cause a change in an existing crisis of internal displacement. Pursuant to existing policy, all Country Teams in countries experiencing internal displacement should have in place a comprehensive strategic action plan for meeting the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
If this is not yet the case, or if a new displacement situation develops or changes significantly, the strategy proposes to activate the following procedures:
1) HC/RC alerts the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), who in turn alerts donors and IASC Principals
2) HC/RC ensures consultations with the UNCT, other international organisations, the Red Cross movement, NGOs and organizes, to the extent possible, a joint needs assessment ensuring inter-agency participation
3) HC/RC and agencies develop a strategic action plan to respond to the protection and assistance needs of IDPs
4) HC/RC consults with all agencies to identify which actors on the ground have the expertise and capacity to respond in the ways identified accordingly
5) The HC/RC consults NGOs again at the country level to discuss the strategy and their consultations with headquarters to obtain agreement from agencies on how to fill any gaps
6) If the strategy is adopted, the ERC will share the strategy with the Working Group and seek political and donor support for agencies implementing the plan
7) If the strategy is not adopted, the ERC shares the plan with the IDP Unit and IASC working group and requests that agencies at the headquarters level try and resolve the gaps in response or raise it up to the level of the IASC Principals
Protection problems are endemic to the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). They arise not only as a cause of flight, but also during displacement and in the search for durable solutions. The objective of the paper is to outline the IASC policy on the protection of internally displaced persons. The IASC emphasizes that the protection of internally displaced persons must be of concern to all humanitarian/development agencies. The policy paper identifies fourteen strategic areas to focus on in order to build a protective environment and to integrate protection features into operational response and remedial action: the need for advocacy, prevention and preparedness including the promotion of the Guiding Principles; the strengthening of national and local capacities as well as integrated training activities; the need for systematic efforts to support community-based protection and to develop protection strategies for women, children and other vulnerable groups; the search for durable solutions is a central concern in ensuring the protection of the internally displaced,; and highlights the importance of coordinated programming, monitoring and reporting.
The paper consists of four parts:
1) Part one examines the nature and content of protection for internally displaced persons
2) Part two sets out a number of strategic areas of activity for ensuring that protection responsibilities are discharged effectively
3) Part three contains a short analysis of the responsibilities of action
4) Part four develops basic principles for allocating responsibilities in specific country situations to increase the predictability of response and facilitating the work of the Humanitarian Coordinators and/or Resident Coordinators in addressing gaps
All too often governments are either unwilling or unable to meet the protection needs of their displaced populations. The international community, therefore, has an important responsibility to ensure that these populations are assisted. This must include effective safeguarding of all rights guaranteed by international humanitarian and human rights law. This manual on field practice describes a number of concrete activities that may be undertaken in situations of internal displacement so as to strengthen the link between assistance and protection activities.
The manual consists of seven parts:
1) Part one introduces the context of the manual, its purpose and how it is organized
2) Part two gives a compendium of field practice examples
3) Part three briefs on the general support for the guiding principles
4) Part four presents principles related to protection from displacement
5) Part five presents principles related to protection and assistance during displacement such as enhancing protection of physical security and freedom of movement, preserving family and community among the internally displaced, protecting social, economic and cultural rights, and protecting rights to identity and basic freedoms
6) Part six briefs on humanitarian principles
Part seven presents on principles related to return, resettlement and reintegration