LAW AND POLICY ON INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT
Why a focus on law and policy?
It is essential for protection actors to invest in environment-building action, aimed at creating and/or consolidating an environment – political, social, cultural, institutional, economic and legal – conducive to full respect for the rights of women, men, boys and girls, without any kind of discrimination. Promoting the implementation at the national level of relevant international law, including by supporting the ratification of relevant treaties and the establishment of adequate legal, policy and institutional frameworks, is therefore paramount.
While law- and policy-making is an essential exercise of state sovereignty, Protection Clusters and their members have an important role to play in advocating for and supporting States in the development and implementation of their laws and policies for protection outcomes; particularly relevant in many contexts are laws and policies relating to the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs), often necessary for the incorporation of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (or the domestication of the African Union Kampala Convention as relevant) into national legislation. Several regional bodies, including the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Council of Europe (CoE), urge their member states to develop national policies on internal displacement. In Africa, the 2006 Great Lakes Protocol and the 2009 Kampala Convention make it mandatory for member states that ratified those instruments to develop national legal frameworks.
Authorities in several countries have already developed domestic normative standards on the protection and assistance of IDPs (for further information, please refer to our DATABASE on law and policies on internal displacement). However, states themselves have identified a significant need for technical support and expertise around law and policy-making processes on internal displacement.
The engagement of field Protection Clusters in the law-and-policy area should be based on a solid analysis of the legal and policy context, which should be an integral part of the protection context-based analysis informing the overall strategic planning.
Global Level Coordination
The GPC Task Team on Law & Policy (TTLP) was established in 2015 to coordinate multi-stakeholder efforts to advocate for, promote and support states’ efforts in developing domestic and regional normative frameworks on the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in line with the Guiding Principles and other relevant regional and international frameworks.
UNHCR has been co-leading the Task Team since 2015. Globally, the membership of the Task Team includes UN agencies, NGOs, research and academic institutions, donors, human rights and development agencies, and representatives of other AoRs/Task Teams and field Protection Cluster (co-coordinators).
In line with the Principles of Partnership, the TTLP operates as an open and inclusive forum bringing together traditional and new GPC partners with specific expertise on the subject. If you are interested in learning more or contributing to the TTLP, please contact the TTLP Chair (contacts below).
The mission of the Task Team is twofold:
- Support governments and local authorities in discharging their responsibilities regarding IDPs and other populations affected by humanitarian crises and internal displacement by promoting and supporting states’ efforts in developing and implementing domestic normative frameworks relating to the protection of IDPs and other populations of concern;
- Support field clusters, operational partners and other relevant stakeholders in contributing to the development, implementation, and monitoring of relevant normative frameworks relating to the protection of IDPs and other populations of concern.
GPC Task Team on Law & Policy Chair
An introduction to the Kampala Convention by Prof. Chaloka Beyani