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PART I: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
Why this Toolbox
After such a depressing week, I was especially happy to participate in an uplifting session at Civic Hall in Manhattan last Thursday night. We were brought together by Overture, a tech and humanitarian company dedicated to activating conversations about the development and support of technology solutions to help solve issues plaguing humanity. The session was part of Overture’s “Digital Humanitarian Series”, designed to foster strategic partnerships, dialogue, ideas, and eventual launch of tech services/products.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration organized an expert consultation on “Guidance on protecting people from disasters and environmental change through planned relocation.” An overview of the project is synthesized below.
Why Guidance on Planned Relocation?
The West African Ebola epidemic is an international public health crisis, representing a threat to international peace and security. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on September 18th, “The gravity and scale of the situation now requires a level of international action unprecedented for an emergency.” As the international community begins to accelerate its response commensurate with the magnitude of the immense human suffering, additional actions – in both the immediate and longer term – are necessary.
President Obama declared that Bashar Al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on several thousand Syrian civilians (not the slaying and displacement of millions otherwise) was a breach of international norms so severe that use of force was justified. After Obama asked for congressional and UN Security Council backing, Congress and the British Parliament demurred. Then Assad’s patron, Russia, brokered a deal to have the chemical weapons removed.
By: Roberta Cohen
Editor's Note: The development of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the first international standards for the protection of internally displaced persons, holds many lessons for those seeking to develop new standards in emerging fields. This paper analyzes the successes and limitations of the process and the steps that need to be taken to gain broad international acceptance of new standards.
Nathaniel A. Raymond, Benjamin I. Davies, Brittany L. Card, Ziad Al Achkar, and Isaac L. Baker
The authors are currently the staff of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Signal Program on Human Security and Technology. Between December 2010 and June 2012, the authors were the operations staff and analysts of the Satellite Sentinel Project and were based at HHI.
With complex emergencies involving the forced
movements of millions of persons, this report explores the nature of forced
migration and the existing international regime. In addition, the following
three approaches used to improve humanitarian responses to complex emergencies
involving a range of forced migrants are assessed:
- Responsible lead agency for specific categories of forced migrants
- Regional mechanisms responsible for all forced migrants within designated areas
- System-wide office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs