Adapting the Guiding Principles to New Realities
THE NEW REALITIES OF THE WORLD’S INTERNALLY DISPLACED
To adequately respond to the challenges faced by the 50.8 million IDPs around the globe, we must strive to better integrate prevention and durable solutions in our responses – not only in the field but also at the normative level. Much of what is needed is already included in recent development and humanitarian frameworks. The question is how these recent advances can best be linked to the Guiding Principles to create a consolidated global roadmap on internal displacement.
SECURITY, STABILITY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE
When it comes to prevention efforts in the context of conflict and violence, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and especially Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 10 and 16 are useful blueprints. SDG 1 calls for an end to poverty and equal rights to economic resources for all. SDG 2 aims at ending hunger and ensuring equal access to land. SDG 10 aspires to reduce inequality within and between countries, for instance by promoting social, economic and political inclusion of all and by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices. Finally, SDG 16 strives for peaceful and inclusive societies, universal access to justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.
RISK REDUCTION AND THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Preventing disaster displacement first and foremost means reducing the vulnerability and exposure of affected populations. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has made risk reduction for resilience one of its four priorities, suggesting useful steps that can help prevent displacement. These include proper design and construction of critical infrastructure, making risk assessments an integral part of urban planning, rural development planning and the identification of areas for human settlements, and the design and implementation of social safety-net mechanisms among other things. All these approaches will become even more pertinent in the future as climate change is expected to further increase the intensity and frequency of disasters.
DURABLE SOLUTIONS TO END PROTRACTED DISPLACEMENT
The already existing language on durable solutions in the Guiding Principles could be strengthened by including some of the criteria of the IASC framework on durable solutions such as: long-term safety, security and freedom of movement, access to basic services – including education and housing – access to livelihoods and employment and so on. To add a more explicit development perspective, additional inspiration could once again be drawn from the 2030 Agenda, notably by including key aspects of SDG 8 on economic growth and decent work, SDG 11 on safe, resilient and sustainable cities and SDG 13 on climate action.