International and Regional Instruments


1998-Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

In 1992, the Secretary General of the United Nations appointed the first Representative on Internally Displaced Persons, Francis M. Deng who was requested by the Commission on Human Rights to prepare the first comprehensive study of international standards on internal displacement (E/CN.4/1993/35). After further studies on the legal framework to protect the internally displaced persons, Francis Deng concluded that while the existing normative framework provided a certain level of protection, some gaps remained. This is how, in 1998, with the encouragement of the Commission of Human Rights and the General Assembly, he was requested to develop with the help of a team of international legal scholars chaired by Walter Kälin, to identify the relevant existing laws and address these gaps. The resulting “Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement” were presented to the Commission on Human Rights in April 1998 (E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2). While they are non-binding, the Commission has expressed its appreciation of the Guiding Principles and in 2005, more than 190 States adopted the World Summit Outcome which recognised the Guiding Principles as “an important international framework for the protection of internally displaced persons and resolve to take effective measures to increase the protection of internally displaced persons” (A/RES/60/1).

Other international instruments related to internal displacement (non-exhaustive list)


Binding Instruments

Non-binding Instruments (non-exhaustive list)