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30 Sep 2008 description

Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2008


The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are highly vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, landslides, volcanoes, and drought. In addition, disasters triggered by environmental and industrial incidents, such as forest fires and chemical and oil spills, pose a potential threat. At times, El Niño Southern Oscillation events and poor land use management exacerbate the effects of these hazards.

26 Sep 2008 description

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today's Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.

26 Sep 2008 description

FAMILIAS EN ACCIÓN, Colombia, September 26 (UNHCR) - At the beginning of this year, Lucia* and her family found sanctuary in a squalid, dilapidated settlement built on mangrove swamps near the Colombian port city of Tumaco.

Alerted by church officials, UNHCR staff visited Familias en Acción, home to around 100 families displaced by violence in south-west Colombia's volatile Nariño Department.

26 Sep 2008 description

Humanitarian situation


Clashes between the Army, ELN and the illegal armed group known as "Los Rastrojos" triggered the displacement 0f nearly 300 Afro Colombians in Alto Baudó.

291 IDPs (174 children among them) have been registered in the urban area by the local Ombudsman's Office of the municipality so far. Preliminary information reports that 3 more communities could be currently blocked, unable to displace.

18 Sep 2008 description

Humanitarian situation


OCHA field office was informed about the displacement of 14 indigenous families within rural Bajo Baudó and a new alert of imminent risk of mass displacement in the municipality of Istmina.

According to the information received by OCHA, 14 indigenous families (nearly 70 people) displaced towards two rural villages in Bajo Baudó following the kidnapping of 4 members of the community allegedly by the 18 illegal armed group known as "Los Rastrojos". Preliminary information repots that 7 …

17 Sep 2008 description

1. Introduction

The world is reaching the crossroads where governments must decide which approach to take in order to control the increasingly globalised trade in conventional arms. If the current practice of allowing irresponsible transfers of military and security equipment and related items across borders is allowed to continue, millions more lives and livelihoods will be destroyed and the fundamental human rights of many more people will be seriously violated.

17 Sep 2008 description

Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council today continued its general debate on human rights situations that require the Council's attention, hearing from 33 non governmental organizations which alleged human rights violations in China, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, India, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Korea and Georgia among others.

16 Sep 2008 description


Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are the best placed to articulate their needs and evaluate the national, regional and international responses to those needs,(1) but most decisions on situations of internal displacement still do not sufficiently reflect their thinking.

The purpose of this report is to make better known how IDPs view the major issues affecting them. Listening to their voices is important because:

- The special needs of IDPs are often different from those of other war affected populations.

11 Sep 2008 description

This report covers the period 01/01/08 to 30/06/08

In brief

Programme purpose: Support the ten National Societies in the South American Region to effectively operationalize the Inter American Plan 2007 -2011.

Programme summary: From the beginning of 2008, the Regional Representation (RR) for South America, based in Lima has worked with the Americas Zone Office to implement the New Operating Model (NOM), which will bring new opportunities through new ways of working. The process of designing the suitable and sustainable implementation of the NOM in the Americas was enhanced by the …

10 Sep 2008 description


The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 7 and 10 percent of the world's population live with disabilities. As such, it can be assumed that between 2.5 and 3.5 million of the world's 35 million displaced persons also live with disabilities. Among displaced persons who have fled civil conflict, war or natural disasters, the number with disabilities may be even higher.

Yet persons with disabilities remain among the most hidden, neglected and socially excluded of all displaced people today.

10 Sep 2008 description

Humanitarian situation


A new mass mobilization against the eradication of illicit crops triggered the displacement of more than 2.000 from rural Anorí towards the urban area, allegedly forced by FARC members.

According to CODHES, the peasants have been arriving since Monday (September 8) protesting against the loss of self-sustenance crops, and food shortages as a consequence, caused by the eradication programs ongoing in the northwest of the department.

10 Sep 2008 description

Colombia - "I told my wife: Let's get out of this town before we lose our lives." With these words, José starts recounting the past few years of his life.

Arjona, a small town in the Department of Valledupar, became a virtual ghost town the night of 26 February 1997.

Every single resident fled the town before sunrise.

They only took their children, the clothes on their backs and all of the memories their heads could carry.

After a three-hour canoe ride, they arrived in Chiriguaná, the closest town where they were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

"We spent …

10 Sep 2008 description

Some 25,000 people disappeared in Colombia over the past 20 years in incidents related to the internal armed conflict that has affected the country for over four decades, the Attorney General's Office said Wednesday.

Office representative Luis Gonzalez told Colombian radio network Caracol that the department has received 17,000 formal complaints of disappearances in the past 16 months alone, most of them involving the extreme-right paramilitary groups.

Gonzalez, director of the office's Justice and Peace Unit, said many relatives file their complaints in the hope …

09 Sep 2008 description

Human Rights Council

Concludes General Debate Welcoming New High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Human Rights Council this morning heard a presentation from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict after concluding its general debate with the new High Commissioner for Human Rights.

09 Sep 2008 description

More than 53,000 application forms have been completed and 6,370 phone calls received in the past month for the compensation programme for victims of crimes committed by illegal armed groups in Colombia.

The 53,683 applications received so far have come from all 29 departments - Antioquia (17,260), Urabá (4,373) and Valle del Cauca (2,921) are the departments with the largest number of applications filed.

The proposed compensation consists of economic settlements provided by the Colombian Government to the victims of crimes including homicide, forced displacement, forced …

09 Sep 2008 description


Geneva, 9 September 2008 - Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, presents her report to the Human Rights Council today.

05 Sep 2008 description

Karen Jacobsen and Kimberly Howe, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, in collaboration with Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Geneva

In many conflict zones today, the targeting and uprooting of rural populations and their forced displacement is an integral part of the war strategies of rebel or government forces. Notable recent examples include Sudan, northern Uganda, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Burma and Somalia.

04 Sep 2008 description

IDMC identified the need to develop and test a methodology to assess the number and situation of IDPs in urban centres, to complement the Guidance on Profiling Internally Displaced Persons. The resulting Tufts-IDMC profiling study aims ultimately to help all organisations which assist and promote the rights of IDPs in conflict-affected countries to collect and analyse information on people displaced into cities.

The project

IDMC managed the project in partnership with the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University in the United States.