For those countries that have ratified, it is only the first step on the path towards turning its legal contents into concrete action that makes real change for people affected by displacement
The LRA have a long history of extreme violence and have committed some of the most horrendous mass atrocities in the world. The deeply entrenched fear that this long history of violence has inspired means that today, the mere rumor of perceived ‘LRA’ activity is enough to cause whole villages to flee in fear of their lives.
While we have seen protracted displacement situations in other areas of DRC, what makes this particularly unique is the high levels of fear and trauma within these communities.
IDPs are struggling to remain visible on the global agenda, despite making up almost twice the population of refugees worldwide. Having worked extensively with displaced populations, I understand the need to preserve the dignity and respect for IDPs, whilst fighting for change on their behalf, I very much look forward to working more with actors in this field.
In countries already facing the effects of conflict and food insecurity such as in Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Sudan, we observe a common theme. Here, vulnerability to disaster triggered by floods is frequently further compounded by hunger, poverty and violence; resulting in a ‘perfect storm’ of risk factors that lead to displacement.″
In the US following Hurricane Sandy, most of those displaced were able to find refuge in adequate temporary shelter while displaced from their own homes. Compare this to communities in Haiti, where hundreds of thousands are still living in makeshift tents over three years after the 2010 earthquake mega-disaster, and you see a very different picture.
Much of the spike in the number of internally displaced people worldwide was due to the 2.4 million people displaced by the crisis within Syria by the end of 2012. Here, the acceleration of internal displacement is closely linked to the conflict, creating a ‘snowball effect’. In this context, internal displacement becomes a ‘moving target’ for those tasked with the response.
Governments are responsible for finding long-term solutions for their displaced citizens. However, these can only be realised when governments and the international community recognise that people forced from their homes require not only a humanitarian response at the height of a crisis, but sustained engagement until a lasting solution is achieved.
“We are at a tipping point. There is a real threat that the country will continue to slide down a slippery slope to perpetual chaos if the international community drops the ball on Mali at this crucial crossroads.”
“The military intervention has not cured all evils. Invisible threats remain with reports of on-going ethnic tensions alongside fears that Islamist militants will regroup in the mountains, where they are believed to have fled, to continue their campaign of Guerrilla-style raids and suicide bombings, particularly in the North where there remains weak governance.”
To put this in context, if two cyclones of equal intensity were to hit both the Philippines and Japan, 17 times as many Filipinos than Japanese would be killed, and a far greater number of Filipinos would be displaced, all due to the greater socio-economic vulnerability of Filipinos.
Filipinos are disproportionately affected by hazards as compared to other nations with comparable populations exposed to similar hazards.
IDMC is especially concerned about vulnerable groups such as women, children and the injured caught up in the displacement crisis, with sexual violence and rape a worrying trend and reports of injured people too afraid to go to hospitals because of the bombings.
Those being forced to flee inside Mali are caught between a rock and a hard place
The Kampala Convention is comprehensive in that it addresses the multiple causes of displacement, so this signals an important step towards addressing the plight of millions of Africans who are uprooted from their homes
Fear and mistrust between communities add fire to the tensions, particularly in the west, forcing at least 24,000 more people to flee this year alone.
[Disputed land allocations] left a devastating legacy where local custom and written law often contradict each other when it comes to land ownership, leaving the whole system open to abuse.
« Les personnes déplacées enferment et cachet leurs enfants par peur des attaques et du recrutement forcé des filles et garçons par les groupes armés »
The recent signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro is a positive step that is set to bring an end to 40 years of conflict.
Guillaume Charron, IDMC’s Syria analyst