Tens of millions of people around the globe have been forcibly displaced by conflict, natural disaster, or persecution, seeking refuge either within or beyond the borders of their country. Humanitarian protection, whether for refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons (IDPs), represents a key policy area for many major immigrant-receiving countries as well as nations bordering locations where war, political upheaval, or natural disaster have disrupted daily life. The research offered here relates to the law and practice of protecting refugees and IDPs in areas of conflict as well as in industrialized nations, with a focus on secure solutions and effective institutional arrangements for comprehensive protection.
Through a broad overview of key policy and legislation dating back to the early 1990s, this paper finds that despite persistent efforts to coordinate an EU level approach to asylum and refugee protection, the process has been severely stifled by the lack of a philosophical consensus between Member States as to what constitutes refugee protection in Europe and globally.
Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop of the International Council of International Agencies (ICVA) examines moves by non-governmental organizations and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to better coordinate the protection of refugees.
Although the number of refugees displaced from the conflict in Iraq was significantly fewer than expected, the war produced some 260,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North. Recent reports indicate that despite the threat of inter-ethnic retaliatory violence, many of these IDPs are now returning home.