Internally Displaced Persons and International Refugee Law: Protection Gaps, Challenges and Implementation in Practice
The King’s Student Law Review, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017) pp. 94-117
25 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 14, 2017
The protection of Internally Displaced Persons - popularly called IDPs - has come to dominate the contemporary debate in International Law, International Refugee Law (IRL), International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL). But these fields of law have offered disappointing levels of protection. There are no protection provisions in IRL, IHRL and IHL dealing with IDPs and protection is limited to only those persons who cross international borders. But there is another legal framework called the UNHCR Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, 1998 which were prepared for the UN Commission on Human Rights that provides protection and assistance to the IDPs. Internal displacement rose to prominence as an issue through the late 1980s and became an important priority in global affairs during the 1990s. Today, human displacement trends in homeland boundaries have acquired global concerns and ramifications and need aid and assistance at par refugees. IDPs have also been living in refugee-like situations that make them eligible for international protection in their country of residence. Thus, it is evident from the IDPs definition discussed hereunder that it does imply to have an idea of international protection for them but it also endures insufficiencies. However, IDPs is an international problem now and creates with international obligations. Additionally, the IDPs framework is not a legally enforceable mechanism and its operation and implementation exclusively depends upon national governments. The IDPs definition is extremely restricted and lacks international application and flagrantly deprives them of international protection. Therefore, an attempt has been made in this paper to analyse the existing IDP laws, to identify the IDPs protection gaps, challenges and their implementation in practice worldwide including India.
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