Dr Phil Orchard gives a talk for the Refugee Studies Centre podcast series.
In the past two decades, global policy on internal displacement has become a discernible area of activity for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a range of other international and non-government organizations. It is an area of policy which operates in parallel with global refugee policy, alongside but separate as it is neither as strongly legally or institutional anchored. Its development has been far more ad hoc, incremental, and divided than refugee policy. And yet global policy on internal displacement as both process and product is clearly identifiable. This is reflected in legal developments including the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the African Union’s Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (the Kampala Convention). But it is also reflected in practice within the United Nations, including the development of the cluster approach to provide protection and assistance to the internally displaced, and in the basic working processes not only of UNHCR, but also of the Security Council and the General Assembly. This suggests that incremental processes can have long term effects on global policy generally.