This paper examines issues concerning forced displacement of people in Colombia and Liberia within the context of 20th-century internal armed conflicts. It explores how displacement is related to group identities such as gender and age, and it examines the displacement crisis in Colombia and Liberia. It argues that a commitment–implementation gap, or the failure of Colombia and Liberia to implement effective strategies to meet their commitment to global norms and principles as stipulated in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, limits these countries’ ability to manage their displacement crisis effectively.
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.
Of the more than 27 million children estimated to lack access to education in emergency situations, substantial numbers are internally displaced. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement underscores the necessity that authorities make educational and training facilities available to the internally displaced as soon as conditions permit. However, all too often, this right to education is addressed only once conflicts have subsided. The author believes that far greater attention, priority and efforts need to be devoted to minimizing the disruption to education invariably resulting from displacement while maximizing the potential protection and other critical support that going to school can provide internally displaced children. Barriers that IDPs face in accessing their right to education, and steps to bridge the gaps in education is presented and outlined in this article.