Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are individuals who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, persecution, or other human rights violations, but who have not crossed an international border. IDPs are often referred to as “internally displaced persons” to distinguish them from refugees, who have crossed an international border to seek protection.

IDPs are a significant global issue, with millions of people displaced by conflict, violence, persecution, and other human rights violations around the world. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were an estimated 41 million IDPs worldwide as of 2020. The majority of IDPs are found in countries in the Global South, including countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

IDPs often face significant challenges, including lack of access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare, as well as protection from violence and abuse. IDPs may also experience social isolation and discrimination, and may struggle to rebuild their lives and communities.

It is important for the international community to recognize and address the needs of IDPs and to provide assistance to these individuals in order to help them rebuild their lives and communities. This may include providing humanitarian assistance, promoting the protection of IDPs’ rights, and supporting initiatives to facilitate their return or integration into new communities.
Displaced People: Internally Displaced People Today Why were 38 Million people displaced inside their home countries around the world in early 2015? This is the highest number ever, it was 26 Million in 2011 and is likely higher yet in 2016 (current statistics are not available, but the situation is likely worse). People who are displaced within their own country are legally under the protection of their own governments. Yet that same government might be the cause of their displacement. It is no surprise, then, that internally displaced people (IDPs) are among the most vulnerable people in the world and are often in danger of becoming refugees, those driven out of their home country. Read some general information on internally displaced people and explore the UNHCR links. Now do some independent research online and in the library and learn about the situation of one particular displaced group of people in one part of the world. Try to think about the situation as an anthropologist to make sense out of the complex circumstances of the group you have chosen. What cultural factors might contribute to the huge number of displaced people in some parts of the world? The problem that begins with internal displacement is much bigger since IDP’s are not refugees, as they are still in their home land. People become refugees when they are forced to move outside their borders and seek a new place to live. Is there an underlying cultural/ethnic basis to the conflict? Are people divided by issues involving religious sectarianism or politics or both? Is there an environmental aspect, a valuable resource that is contested? Are issues of, ecology, food security, water, subsistence methods or other aspects of human adaptation involved? Write 4–5 double spaced pages (excluding title page, bibliography and any maps, photos or illustrations you may want to include) about one displaced cultural group of your choice. This could be an indigenous group, ethnic group, spiritual group or political groups in a modern or developing country. In Canada, many of us came here as refugees from elsewhere, so think about any cultural/family connections that you may have that you could explore and learn more about. Do your best to use anthropology to interpret and analyze the current problems and possible future solutions to the situation. The information used to write your assignment should be cited using APA parenthetical citation and bibliography format. (Information on using APA citations may be found online or in the library.) “As of the end of 2014, 38 million people around the world had been forced to flee their homes by conflict and violence. Never in the last 10 years of IDMC’s global reporting, have we reported such a high estimate for the number of people newly displaced in a year. This report is based on data and analysis gathered between January and December 2014 in 60 countries and territories across the world. Our research shows that the causes and impacts of displacement are multiple and often overlapping, including those related to disasters induced by natural hazards.” Source with links to more information: Global Overview 2015: People internally displaced by conflict and violence. “The numbers of IDPs continued to rise throughout 2014, as conflict situations escalated in the Central African Republic (CAR), Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria). The capacity of the international humanitarian system was tested by multiple emergencies, compounded by widespread violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and, in some instances, the direct targeting of humanitarian workers UNHCR’s action on behalf of IDPs in conflict situations continued to be centred on the inter-agency cluster leadership approach (see Glossary). As lead of the Global Protection Cluster, and lead of the Global Shelter Cluster and the Global Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster for conflict situations, the Office supported coordination and service delivery to IDPs in the field. UNHCR also contributed to the development of global policy on internal displacement to ensure that protection informed humanitarian action.” See also chapter on Working in Partnership. An independent study by the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, entitled Ten Years after Humanitarian Reform: How Have IDPs Fared?, was released in December 2014. The study examined the conditions of IDPs 10 years after the UN humanitarian reform process of 2005, noting that more attention on finding sustainable solutions to internal displacement was needed. In 2015, UNHCR will therefore focus on resolving the specific assistance and protection needs of IDPs, and promote their full enjoyment of human rights without discrimination. Source with links to more information: UNHCR. Additional Information About Assignment 1 Some of the large conflicts in the world today such as those in the Middle East, (Syria, Egypt) the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Darfur region, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan etc. are political/military conflicts and are in the news on a regular basis. Other conflicts are less well-known and may be restricted to more specific issues often involving the development of natural resources. Natural disasters also often cause displacement and political turmoil. The term Internally Displaced Peoples is often associated with these indigenous groups but many of them become classified as refugees when they are forced out of their home territory. It’s okay if the group you choose constitutes both classifications. There are websites and publications devoted to the plight of indigenous peoples. One example, which may give you some ideas, is a journal/website called Cultural Survival. Environmental issues are often part of these indigenous issues as both environmentalists and indigenous people have common interests in the preservation of people in their environments. You may use a variety of up to date research sources to gather information on the group you are interested in. Because this is a distance education course I realize not everyone has access to a good library so I expect much of your information will come from web-based sources. The websites of international organizations such as nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) often provide background data on people’s past as well as current developments. Random online information that is not attributed to an organization or an author may be less trustworthy. One should exercise discretion as to the quality of information offered. Web-based academic journals are an excellent source while some mainstream journalism sources may be more biased. A good paper should have three parts, indicated by subheadings. Using subheadings will clarify where each part begins and ends. Papers will be graded out of 20 which represents 20% of your overall grade. 1-Introduction (5 marks) which clearly identifies and introduces the people, topic and part of the world you are talking about and states the scope and goals of your paper. 2- The Body (10 marks) of the paper should tell me about the situation you are examining by introducing the factual material from your research sources and properly citing them (indicating the source) as well. You should briefly explain the history of the situation and what it might mean for people on the ground. Describe the underlying causes, natural, political, cultural, religious, resources or other. 3- Conclusion (5 marks) The final portion of your paper should be a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the paper, contains any of your personal thoughts, speculations, observations and opinions about the future of the conflict and generally wraps up the paper.

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