While refugee numbers continue to decrease around the world, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) continues to steadily rise. The fact that they remain within national territory means that they cannot seek to qualify as bona fide “refugees” entitled to the special protective regime accorded to refugees under international law. This paper explores the protection of IDPs as an emerging area of international law and seeks to understand the practical application of law as exemplified by international responses to the specificities of the north-south internal displacement phenomenon in the Sudan following the signing of the 9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The paper thus explores the application of international legal norms as public policy, in practice, and at the field level, while focusing on the abuse of the social, cultural, economic, political and civil rights of Sudanese IDPs.
This paper deals with the legal and politico-legal aspects of humanitarian intervention in the Sudan- an issue elucidating the pressing need for the international community to determine lawful criteria by which the authorization of the use of force to protect the human rights of the vulnerable and the neglected might be made use of as a humanitarian option of last resort. The paper determines a six point legal test that might be used to justify any such intervention, and, in accordance with international human and human rights law, has recommended a series of short, medium and long-term enforcement strategies and military option which respect Sudan’s national security concerns while better protecting the rights and livelihoods of the people of Darfur.