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Part V The Scope of Refugee Protection, Ch.47 Internal Displacement

Walter Kälin

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law

Edited By: Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 March 2024

Asylum — Internally displaced persons — Non-refoulement

This chapter discusses the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who are all too often neglected, not only by their governments, but also by the international community. The experiences of refugees and IDPs have much in common. Thus, it is not surprising that social science approaches tend to lump refugees and IDPs together under the notion of ‘forced displacement’. By contrast, the chapter argues that refugee law and the law related to internal displacement are conceptually fundamentally different because IDPs remain citizens or habitual residents of their countries, and thus depend on the national protection of their governments, while refugees as foreigners are in need of international protection. Discussing the protection of IDPs from a comparative perspective, it analyses the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and their impact as a soft law instrument, as well as the legally binding Kampala Convention. Ultimately, IDP-related approaches to durable solutions can help to inform refugee law and policy, and there is already a degree of convergence between the two areas.

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