The Learning Center
Explore this collection of information, resources, and documents to learn about the rights of displaced and war-affected people.. We are continually building this resource center, and welcome your suggestions of useful links to include.
"Scientia potentia est"
(Knowledge is Power)
Sir Francis Bacon
Refugee Repatriation in Liberia: Legal Rights, Best Practices and Lessons from Other Countries - by the Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, Yale University, for The Niapele Project (PDF)
Repatriation, Resettlement, Integration: A Study of the Three Refugee Solutions - by Sciences Po, for The Niapele Project (PDF)
Internal Displacement in Africa
Africa remains the continent with the highest numbers of people who have been internally displaced due to conflict. While some conflict situations, as in Burundi and Uganda, appeared to improve during 2006 with substantial numbers of IDPs beginning or continuing to return home, many other countries have experienced a clear deterioration of their situation, as was the case in the Central African Republic (CAR). Chad has appeared for the first time on the list of displacement-producing countries, with no indication of an imminent improvement of the situation. Sudan and the international community continue to struggle to find solutions in the Darfur region, where violence and human rights abuses continue unabated. Somalia has experienced a very volatile year, marked by drought, floods and conflict and has, in the last days of 2006, plunged back into outright conflict. Many countries, like Rwanda and Kenya, have suffered from conflict-related displacement for years. Such protracted displacement situations, left to fester without any effort at finding a long-term solution, may in themselves harbour the seeds for renewed conflict.
With regard to access to essential services such as water, food, shelter, health care and education, most IDPs live in conditions that are clearly inferior to those of the local population. The situation in countries such as the CAR, Chad, Somalia and parts of the DRC is particularly alarming due to severe access problems for the humanitarian community.
Ending conflict-displacement on the African continent is essentially dependent on finding political solutions and engaging in meaningful peace and reconciliation processes. While the bulk of the political will to end violence must come from within the individual countries, the international community as a whole plays an important role – facilitating peace processes and aiding in the reconstruction of infrastructure. Fulfilling this role is very difficult in the complex and historically charged African context, where interests other than the humanitarian tend to maintain the upper hand. As a result, international humanitarian aid often remains ad hoc and short term. Initiatives such as the UN cluster approach, which is being piloted in Africa, and the Peace Building Commission’s work in Burundi, aim to provide more predictable and long-term aid to countries in conflict and to assist in the always-fragile transition from conflict to peace.