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Table of Contents
                            Protecting Internally Displaced Persons: A Manual for Law and Policymakers
Table of Contents
Foreword and Acknowledgments
PART I - General Considerations
	Chapter 1 - The Guiding Principles and Human Rights–Based Protection
	Chapter 2 - Framework for National Responsibility
PART II - Protection from Displacement
	Chapter 3 - Displacement, Evacuations, and Relocations
PART III - Protection during and after Displacement
	Chapter 4 - Humanitarian Assistance
	Chapter 5 - Movement-Related Rights
	Chapter 6 - Family Life
	Chapter 7 - Food
	Chapter 8 - Water and Sanitation
	Chapter 9 - Basic Shelter and Adequate Housing
	Chapter 10 - Health
	Chapter 11 - Recognition, Issuance, and Replacement of Documentation
	Chapter 12 - Property and Possessions
	Chapter 13 - Employment, Economic Activities, and Social Protection
	Chapter 14 - Electoral Rights
	Chapter 15 - Education
	Chapter 16 - Other Regulatory Issues
	Annex 1 - Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
	Annex 2 - Index of the Manual by Guiding Principles
	Annex 3 - Summary of Minimum Essential Elements of State Regulation
	Annex 4 - List of Further Reading and Tools
List of Abbreviations
Index of Subjects
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Protecting Internally
Displaced Persons:

A Manual for Law and Policymakers

October 2008

Page 144

Brookings Institution—University of Bern :: Project on Internal Displacement

ProteCtInG InternAlly dIsPlACed Persons:
A Manual for Law and Policymakers


• the distance from local towns with relevant administrative and law enforcement functions, as well
as from employment markets, educational and vocational training institutions, and healthcare

• the distance to sensitive or protected areas such as nature reserves and water reservoirs serving
broader populations and agricultural or grazing land that is already under extensive use;

• the effect on local populations, keeping in mind the possibility of ethnic or religious tensions, the
likelihood of competition for local natural resources and essential public services, and the possibility
of expansion of the settlement in response to further displacement;

• local land use and property rights, keeping in mind that owners or lawful users of land and buildings
requisitioned for the purpose of founding grouped IDP settlements or for the use of their inhabitants
should be clearly identified and should receive rent and just compensation for losses in the value of
the property or its eventual expropriation; and

• the potential for eventual upgrading, including the possibility of acquiring legal title to the land;
any environmental, zoning, or other restrictions on improvement or construction; and proximity to
utility (water and electricity) networks and transportation infrastructure.

How can transitional grouped settlements be designed to maximize protection?

Beginning in the emergency phase, grouped settlements should be laid out and built in a manner that
takes into account (1) the minimum privacy and space requirements of families, (2) the protection needs
of vulnerable IDPs, (3) the security and free movement of the population as a whole, and (4) the cultural
or religious requirements of IDP populations.302 As early as possible in this process, the design, layout,
construction, and administration of such settlements should be based on consultation with IDPs. If possible,
these consultations should not only take into account the views of traditional or elected community leaders
but also provide opportunities to vulnerable or potentially vulnerable groups to discuss any concerns they
have in isolation from the rest of the IDP population. The opinions of women, in particular, should be
sought on all aspects of communal shelter, sanitation and the distribution of assistance.

The planning and preparation or construction of grouped settlements should take into account the size
and family structure of IDP groups, ensuring appropriate amounts of separate space for each family unit.
Within the space allocated to each family, partitions should be provided to allow separation either by sex or
by age (for example, of parents and children) and to provide privacy. Such measures can also be important in
preventing gender-based violence, particularly in situations when separation between the sexes is culturally
important. Important facilities such as distribution points for food and other assistance, water points, and
latrines should be well lit at night and distributed throughout the settlement so as to be within safe physical
reach of all residents. Finally, the size of such settlements should be planned to avoid overcrowding.303

Particularly vulnerable IDPs, including or the disabled and elderly should, if possible, be given separate
accommodations that correspond to their particular needs. In the case of IDPs vulnerable to gender-

302 Sphere Standards, Shelter and Settlement Standard 2: Physical Planning, p. 215.

303 Resources permitting, the overall settlement (including common facilities, administration offices, storage space, and so on)
should have a minimum surface area of 45 square meters per person, and residential space should be about 3.5 to 4.5 square
meters per person. See “Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons,” action sheet 13: Shelter.

Page 145


Brookings Institution—University of Bern :: Project on Internal Displacement

PArt III: ProteCtIon durInG And AFter dIsPlACement
Chapter 9: Basic Shelter and Adequate Housing

based violence or exploitation, such as unaccompanied women or children and female-headed households,
protection measures should consist of having separate accommodations, including separate latrines and
washing areas, and priority access to distribution points for food and water. For IDPs with limited mobility
such as the elderly and disabled, appropriate measures might include regular monitoring of their condition,
separate facilities, and facilitated or priority access to humanitarian assistance. Finally, ethnic or religious
minorities within IDP communities should be provided with separate facilities to the extent necessary for
them to practice their cultural or religious traditions or to avoid tensions with the majority community.

In terms of overall security and freedom of movement for the population of grouped settlements, the
following basic considerations should be taken into account in all circumstances:

• Security should be provided in camps, in particular by monitoring, through law enforcement
personnel and camp committees drawn from among the displaced communities. Appropriate
mechanisms to address instances of violence and other violations of the human rights of camp
residents should be established.

• Persons concerned should be allowed to move freely in and out of camps. Such movement should
not be restricted or prohibited unless it is necessary for the protection of the security or health of
camp residents or that of the population in the vicinity. If there are restrictions, they should not
remain in force any longer than absolutely necessary.

• In order to maintain the civilian character of camps at all times, appropriate measures should be
taken to avoid the presence of uncontrolled armed elements in camps and settlements. Where
such elements are present, they should be separated from the civilian population in the camp. The
presence of armed state police or security forces should be limited to the extent strictly necessary to
provide security.

• Once the immediate emergency phase is over, camps set up by armed forces or groups should be
managed by civilian authorities or organizations. The role of police and security forces should be
limited to providing security.304

Factors in terms of cultural appropriateness might include using traditional and locally available construction
materials and methods in order to ensure that IDPs can repair or improve their own dwellings and that they
do not become dependent on the purchase of outside construction materials. Another important issue is
layout—in cases where communities are displaced together, the placement of their shelters to create enclosed
common space may allow them to watch each other’s children and belongings.305 Such “neighborhood
planning” in grouped shelter can increase community protection and coherence while maintaining privacy
for individual families.306

304 “Operational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural Disasters,” points A.4.3 to A.4.6.

305 “Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons,” action sheet 13: Shelter.

306 IASC, “Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings Focusing on Prevention of and
Response to Sexual Violence in Emergencies” (Geneva, 2005), p. 54.

Page 288

Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement
The Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20036-2103

T +1 202 797 6168
F +1 202 797 2970
Email [email protected]

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