Rethinking the Impact of War: Elevating Protections for the Displaced
34 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 17, 2018
Broader conflict trends indicate that casualties from war are declining. Despite a recent upsurge in fatalities stemming from the Syria conflict, aggregate battlefield fatalities, civilian casualties and casualties from one-sided violence have all registered significant declines, particularly in relation to major wars of the twentieth century. Global displacement trends are the exception. Cumulative displacement and annual displacement flows stand at record highs – the latest figures indicate over 71 million persons displaced with 16.2 million new displacements in 2017. This challenges conventional understanding of civilian protection trends. This paper presents an empirical analysis of recent conflict trends, focusing on global displacement compared to civilian fatality figures. It discusses the implications of these findings and offer explanations for why global displacement is increasing so rapidly. It examines the relative success of the international community in reducing civilian fatalities in war and offers explanations for why the international community has contrastingly failed to reduce rates of displacement. Finally, it offers suggestions for strengthening the norm against forced displacement to alleviate the crisis in displacement.
Keywords: Armed Conflict, Conflict Data, One-Sided Violence, War, Displacement, Civilian Protection
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