Guiding principles on internal displacement

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Guiding principles on internal displacement refer to a set of guidelines and standards developed to protect and assist internally displaced persons (IDPs). These principles aim to ensure the human rights and well-being of individuals who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, natural disasters, or other situations of internal strife.

The primary framework for guiding principles on internal displacement is the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, also known as the “UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.” These principles were developed by the United Nations in 1998 to provide a comprehensive framework for addressing the needs of IDPs. While they are not legally binding, they have been widely recognized and accepted as a valuable tool for governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders working on internal displacement issues.

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement encompass a range of key principles, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Protection from Arbitrary Displacement: Governments should protect their citizens from arbitrary displacement and should not conduct forced evictions or displacements without due process or justifiable cause.
  2. Non-Discrimination and Equality: IDPs should not be discriminated against based on their displacement, and they should have equal access to basic services, assistance, and protection, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other characteristic.
  3. Protection of Human Rights: IDPs should enjoy all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by national and international human rights laws. Governments have a responsibility to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights.
  4. Access to Assistance and Services: IDPs have the right to receive humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food, water, healthcare, and education. Governments should facilitate access to these services and support the provision of aid by humanitarian organizations.
  5. Durable Solutions: Governments should work towards durable solutions for IDPs, which may include return to their places of origin, local integration into host communities, or settlement in another part of the country. These solutions should be voluntary, safe, and based on informed choices.
  6. Participation and Consultation: IDPs should have the opportunity to participate in decisions affecting their lives and to be consulted in the development and implementation of policies and programs that affect them.
  7. Prevention and Mitigation: Governments should take measures to prevent and mitigate displacement, including early warning systems, conflict resolution, disaster risk reduction, and addressing the root causes of displacement.
  8. Monitoring and Data Collection: Governments should establish mechanisms for monitoring the situation of IDPs, collecting data, and sharing information to ensure effective responses and policy development.

These guiding principles provide a comprehensive framework for addressing the rights and needs of internally displaced persons. They serve as a reference for governments, humanitarian organizations, and other actors involved in responding to internal displacement, helping to ensure a coordinated and rights-based approach to assisting and protecting IDPs.

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