Today, there are over 40 million conflict-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) globally, almost double the number of refugees. Yet, IDPs are protected only by the soft-law Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement at the global level. Instead of a dedicated international organization, IDPs receive protection and assistance only through the UN’s cluster approach.
Orchard argues that while an international IDP protection regime exists, many aspects of it are informal, with IDP issues bound up in a humanitarian regime complex that divides the mandates of key organizations and even the question of IDP status itself. While the Guiding Principles mark an important step forward, implementation of laws and policies based on them at the domestic level remains haphazard. Action at the international level similarly reflects an all-too-often ad hoc approach to IDP issues. Through an in-depth examination of IDP efforts at the international level and across the forty states which have adopted IDP laws and policies, Orchard argues that while progress has been made, new and greater monitoring and accountability mechanisms at both the domestic and international levels are critical.
This work will be valuable to scholars, students, and practitioners of forced migration, international relations theory, and the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
Table of Contents
1 Norm Emergence and Contestation within the IDP Protection Regime
2 Forced Migrants, IDPs, and the Role of International Law
3 The Origins of Internal Displacement
4 The Emergence of Assistance and Protection Norms towards IDPs
5 The United Nations’ Institutional Response
6 Implementing Legal Protections at the Regional and Domestic Levels
7 Implementation Issues
8 Failed Implementation
9 When will Reality Meet the Rhetoric for the Internally Displaced?
Phil Orchard is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Wollongong and a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. He holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia, and previously served as the Assistant to the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Internally Displaced Persons between 2001 and 2002. His research focuses on international efforts to provide legal and institutional protections to forced migrants and war-affected civilians. He is the author of A Right to Flee: Refugees, States, and the Construction of International Cooperation (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which won the 2016 International Studies Association Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies Section Distinguished Book Award. He is also the co-editor, with Alexander Betts, of Implementation in World Politics: How Norms Change Practice (Oxford University Press, 2014).