Crisis of internal displacement as severe as eight years ago UN report

Francis Deng, the Secretary-General’s Representative on internally displaced persons, says in his fifth report to the General Assembly that significant progress has been made in protecting and assisting displaced people, particularly through the development and promotion of Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, and efforts towards establishing a better coordinated international response. “At the same time, it would be tragically ironic if the international community were to view these developments, encouraging though they are, as grounds for complacency,” he writes. “On the contrary, the crisis of internal displacement is as acute now as it was eight years ago. Moreover, as an understanding of the issues has increased and deepened, so has the challenge of responding.” According to the report, some 20-25 million people worldwide in at least 40 countries have been uprooted from their homes, exposing them to physical and psychological dangers, and depriving them of basic needs. The Guiding Principles developed by Mr. Deng over a period of several years set forth the rights involved in all phases of displacement, providing protection against arbitrary displacement and assistance during both the movement itself and the return or resettlement and reintegration. The Principles provide guidance to all relevant actors – the Representative in carrying out his mandate, States when faced with the phenomenon of internal displacement, all others in their relations with internally displaced persons, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.Since 1993, the Representative has visited 19 States – including five countries over the past year – to research the subject of internal displacement. read more