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25 Mar 2010 description

By: Roberta Cohen


The concept of the responsibility to protect (R2P) developed in large measure from efforts to design an international system to protect internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The explosion of civil wars emanating from and following the Cold War brought into view millions of persons inside their own countries who were uprooted from their homes and in need of international protection and assistance. Many had little or no access to food, medicine or shelter and were vulnerable to assault, sexual violence, and all manner of human rights abuse.

20 Apr 2009 description


Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's July 2008 request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for President al Bashir of Sudan on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide sparked a firestorm of praise, criticism, anxiety, and relief in equal measure among peacekeepers, aid workers, diplomats, and human rights activists. Opponents of the Prosecutor's move argued that it amounted to a call for regime-change and would imperil any future peace negotiations and the still-incomplete deployment of peacekeepers.

30 Sep 2007 description

September 2007 - Internally displaced persons (IDPs) were central to the humanitarian reform initiated by Jan Egeland, then-Emergency Relief Coordinator in 2005. It was widely recognized that the collaborative approach which had been developed to assign institutional responsibilities for IDPs was not working. Humanitarian reform was intended to "fill the gaps" in humanitarian response - particularly for IDPs -- but over time it became something else.