IRRC No. 875
Whether within or across borders, the displacement of persons remains a pressing humanitarian concern. Millions of people are separated from their homes, livelihoods and families each year by armed conflict or other catastrophes, and frequently suffer severe abuses and hardship while in flight or at their place of refuge. This issue aims to give a comprehensive picture of the phenomenon of displacement: its causes, its scale, and the challenges faced by the people affected, as well as the response of government authorities and humanitarian actors (particularly the ICRC and the Federation). The role of relevant normative frameworks in protecting displaced persons and migrants is also examined, as well as the tension between security concerns and legal standards.
Table of contents
Interview with William Lacy Swing
The ICRC's response to internal displacement: strengths, challenges and constraints
The often highly complex and fluid nature of displacement on the ground makes coverage of internally displaced persons' (IDPs') needs a difficult task, and a flexible response is required to fit different contexts. In identifying and responding to needs, the ICRC looks at the whole context in which internal displacement occurs, as well as all the people affected.
Internal displacement; global trends in conflict induced displacement
At the end of 2008, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) found that the number of people internally displaced by conflict, generalised violence or human rights violations stood at a ten-year high of 26 million worldwide. This article presents the findings of the IDMC's latest survey on trends in internal displacement, challenges faced by displaced populations, and measures taken to address these.
Fleeing war and relocating to the urban fringe – issues and actors: the cases of Khartoum and Bogotá
This article presents the findings of a long-term study comparing the phenomenon of displacement in Khartoum and Bogota. While the issues faced in these two contexts are similar, widely differing policy decisions have been taken. This has impacted on the evolution of the two situations, as well as the responses of various actors.
Internal displacement in Colombia: humanitarian, economic and social consequences in urban settings and current challenges
This article gives an overview of internal displacement and the IDP assistance system in Colombia. It analyses the particular difficulties faced by IDPs moving from rural to urban areas, as well as the challenges posed to governmental and humanitarian actors by the IDP influx into cities.
Without order, anything goes? The prohibition of forced displacement in non-international armed conflict
Article 17(1) of Additional Protocol II and customary international humanitarian law seem only to prohibit the "ordering" of displacement in non-international armed conflict. However, by interpreting these norms in light of State practice, the author concludes that forced displacement is prohibited regardless of whether it is ordered or not. Nevertheless, an order may still be required to constitute the crime of forced displacement under the Rome Statute.
Humanitarian assistance to migrants, irrespective of their status – Towards a non-categorical approach
The 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent recommended that the Movement take an inclusive approach to addressing the humanitarian dimension of migration, irrespective of the status of the migrants concerned. This is a departure from humanitarian organizations' traditional prioritisation of migrants according to legal and institutional categories.
Immigration controls and free movement in Europe
Effective control of cross-border activities is nearly impossible in market-economy regimes which have to keep their borders open to goods, capital and services. This article exposes the tensions between a legal system predicated on openness and a groundswell of security-driven rhetoric justifying coercive and ostracizing practices against foreigners.
Movement policy on internal displacement
Document prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross in consultation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Nairobi, Kenya, 23–25 November 2009
Sixty years of the Geneva Conventions: learning from the past to better face the future Ceremony to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, Geneva, 12 August 2009.
Address by Jakob Kellenberger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
The Geneva Conventions and Public International Law. British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Conference commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, London, 9 July 2009
Address by Theodor Meron, Judge and former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Professor of International Law and holder of the Charles L. Denison Chair at New York University Law School
National implementation of international humanitarian law (Autumn 2009)
Biannual update on national legislation and case law January-July 2009
Books and articles (Autumn 2009)
Recent acquisitions of the Library & Research Service