Residents in the Zam Zam Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the Darfur region of the Sudan. . Photo: UN Photo/Olivier Chassot
UN adopts Norway's resolution on internal displacement
In its just-concluded session, the General Assembly’s committee on human rights agreed to increase the protection of internally displaced persons. The adopted text, proposed by Norway, contributes to the strengthening of a rights-based approach to protecting and assisting the internally displaced. In agreeing to the text, member states recognized the increased impact climate change can have on natural-disaster related displacement.
Internally displaced persons constitute a large proportion of those forced to flee armed conflict or natural disasters world-wide. In Africa alone 12 million people are thought to be displaced within their own countries. Often neglected by both their own governments and the international community, internally displaced persons are a particularly vulnerable group. While their own governments may either be unable or unwilling to assist them, internally displaced persons lack international protection afforded by the Refugee Convention as they are uprooted within their own countries and have not crossed international borders.
The Norwegian mission to the United Nations facilitated the negotiations leading up to the unanimous adoption of the resolution. The adopted text was co-sponsored by 82 countries, many of which were African states, reflecting the recent adoption of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons.