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Panel discussion on the human rights of internally displaced persons

26.06.2018  18:23

Statement by Denmark
38th session of the Human Rights Council
Panel discussion on the human rights of internally displaced persons in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
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Mr. President, Distinguished Panelists,
We thank the panelists for their insightful observations.
Unfortunately, the situation of IDPs continues to be overlooked, both in operational responses and in ongoing international discussions on burden- and responsibility-sharing. The issue is not a lack of international standards and guidelines. Instead, it is about implementation of what we already have – human rights and the authoritative Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement which reflect international law.
This means that to move forward, we should focus on the national level – recognizing that the situation of IDP’s is first and foremost a responsibility of affected states. We thus need national leadership and ownership if we are to successfully address the situation of IDPs. We congratulate the Special Rapporteur for using her mandate to focus on this.

An effective response to IDP situations also needs to be context-specific, ensure strong participation by the IDPs themselves and take into account the needs of the host communities.

Further, we would like to highlight the need for a solutions focus from the outset. It is for that very reason crucial that the needs and challenges related to IDP’s are also reflected as a cross-cutting objective in local and national development plans. This will ensure a      whole-of-society approach and the sustained engagement of development actors in support of humanitarian efforts towards addressing the plight of IDP’s.

We note that a sound evidence base, in the form of better data and analysis is crucial for an operational approach. We simply do not have access to sufficiently concise demographic and socio-economic data, including gender- and age-disaggregated data, on IDPs and their impact on local communities. JIPS is making important contributions in this regard – and we also hope that this will be focal area for the future World Bank–UNHCR data centre.

On this background, I would like to raise two questions to the panel:
· Do you agree that we have all we need in terms of international standards and guidelines – and if so, how do we build the political momentum that can ensure greater progress for IDPs?

I thank you.