The consultation in Pakistan, titled “Consultation on Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons in the Context of Shrinking Humanitarian Space”, was held in on 13 December. Politicians, lawyers, journalists and human rights activists comprised the 20 participants. Following an introduction to SAHR’s work on IDPs, and a summary of the UN guiding principles on displacement, presentations were made on the SAHR background paper on IDPs in Pakistan, the issues IDPs currently face there, as well as a review of past responses from the humanitarian community and the government. Finally a session was held on suggestions to operationalise the Deng Principles in Pakistan. Key recommendations included the formation of a working group, to monitor legislation and policy decisions on IDPs, and assess if they are in line with the guiding principles, identification of key authorities to focus responsibility and accountability.
The consultation allowed an exchange of experiences between grassroots activists and INGO personnel on the problems and challenges faced, solutions that have worked, and potential solutions to adopt in future.
The report on the consultation in Pakistan has been completed, and the Sri Lankan report is expected to be finalised in early 2012. SAHR’s next step for this programme is to publish a compilation of the findings and recommendations from the national consultations, with a focus on regional trends and ways to operationalise the Deng Principles.
For the full report, click here.
In Sri Lanka, the consultation involved about 30 people from both NGOs and INGOs. All of the invitees had some experience working in the field of displacement, and efforts were made to involve a wide range of experts in order to have the concerns of the various populations they deal with, heard at this consultation. The consultation’s focus was to find means of operationalising the United Nations Guiding Principles on Displacement (Deng Principles), and this was on the final session in the agenda. The prior sessions included one where presentations were made on four different IDP populations within Sri Lanka, with the emphasis being that they face unique challenges and as such require unique solutions. Preceding this were presentations from the author of the background paper on IDPs in Sri Lanka, as well as a couple of presentations on providing humanitarian assistance in shrinking humanitarian space, and the way forward from early recovery.
For the full report, click here.
In Nepal, the National Consultation for Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons was held on 26th August, with around 50 attendees representing conflict victims, human rights activists, civil society leaders, academics, and students. The Chief Guest was the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Rt. Hon. Kedar Nath Upadhyay. With many people displaced during the recent conflict in Nepal, and a solution largely yet resolved for them, the consultation was a very appropriate one. Sessions focused on the background to the consultation – including SAHR’s work on IDPs, the Deng Principles – as well as IDP issues unique to Nepal, and ways that the Deng Principles could be operationalised in the country. Recommendations included the need to obtain more accurate data on IDPs in the country, awareness raising among the general public about IDPs and the problems they face, safeguards to ensure return and resettlement, and the need for a greater role for civil society in aiding IDPs.
The Indian consultation was held on 17th July and drew participants from civil society, including lawyers, journalists, academics, and other human rights activists. Discussions centred around the Deng Principles, as well as the particular plight of development and conflict-induced displaced persons, the effects of internal displacement on neighbouring countries, gender issues within the context of IDPs, and the issue of adequate information to IDPs about why they are being displaced, and what their options are for return and resettlement.
The full report for the consultation can be found here
The Bangladeshi consultation, held on 15th May 2012, involved human rights activists and academics. Key issues raised at the consultation, included the need to incorporate the concerns of IDPs into the policy making process of relevant ministries, as well as adopting a sustainable development policy that would lead to less involuntary displacement of people. Following an introduction of SAHR by Bureau Member, Khushi Kabir, presentations were made on the Deng Principles, the SAHR background paper on Bangladeshi IDPs, issues that IDPs face, and a review of past responses to IDPs from the humanitarian community and the government. The final sessions focused on seeking ways to operationalise the Deng Principles, in Bangladesh.
The report for the consultation can be found here