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27 Jan 2017 description

The international refugee system, constructed in the aftermath of World War II, has enabled millions of refugees in every region to find safety in other countries. President Trump’s expected action to suspend all refugee resettlement to the United States and to impose additional restrictions on refugees from largely Muslim countries is a sad day for refugees and for cherished American values.

05 Oct 2016 description

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.

01 Jun 2015 description

The relationship between displacement and security would appear to be obvious: refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are often displaced because of a lack of security, and cannot find solutions to displacement until security is reestablished, either at their place of origin or new location. In a similar vein, the fact that large numbers of people are displaced can have serious security implications—potentially impeding stability and peacebuilding efforts. Overcoming conflict requires finding durable solutions to those that have been displaced.

05 May 2015 description

Editor’s Note: This paper examines the role of regional organizations in supporting disaster risk management across South Asia. As this paper went to press, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, the most powerful in 80 years, killing at least 7,000 people and affecting an additional eight million. This paper does not endeavor to assess the full extent of earthquake losses or the emergency relief efforts still unfolding in Nepal at the time of its publication.

22 Apr 2015 description

By Elizabeth Ferris, Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy

20 Apr 2015 description

By Elizabeth Ferris, Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy

The international humanitarian system is presently over-stretched with multiple mega-crises requiring not only billions of dollars, but creative attention from harried policymakers. From Iraq to Syria to Ukraine to South Sudan to Ebola (not to mention Myanmar, Libya, the Central African Republic, Somalia, and dozens of others), the past year has been a disaster for the disaster community.

10 Apr 2015 description

The effects of a world in chaos on the people of our planet are overwhelming the international humanitarian system. As the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres recently said, “Today’s humanitarian emergencies are beyond anything we have experienced in living memory.”

24 Mar 2015 description

As many of the world’s foreign ministers convene this week in Washington D.C. for the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, displacement should be on their agenda.

24 Mar 2015 description

Editor’s Note: While attending the negotiations on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, Walter Kälin reflects on how the newly adopted framework may impact the millions of people displaced by natural disasters each year.

10 Feb 2015 description

Regional organizations in the Pacific play a central role in supporting the disaster risk management (DRM) activities of their nation state and territory members. While much is made of the emergent role of regional organizations in building DRM national capacities in other parts of the world, this is not a new issue in the Pacific. For decades Pacific regional organizations have been engaged in helping states to minimize the human and economic losses incurred by natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.

13 Jan 2015 description

In 2004, the Brookings Project on Internal Displacement and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) undertook a study that found major shortcomings in the ways in which the international community was responding to internally displaced persons (IDPs). In light of these findings, Brookings and OCHA developed a number of recommendations aimed at improving IDP protection and assistance.

25 Nov 2014 description

Consultation, Consent, Participation: Words Matter

Central to any discussion about planned relocations is the notion that communities to be affected should be involved in the process. In legal terms, this is frequently referred to as ‘consent.’

07 Nov 2014 description

In recent decades, regional organizations have become increasingly active in disaster risk management (DRM). This reflects a broader growing trend of intensifying regional cooperation. However, the role of regional organizations in DRM and of their role in capacity building at the national level has received little attention from the academic community. This study attempts to address this knowledge gap by examining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which has emerged as a prime example of deepening cooperation and integration in Southeast Asia.

18 Sep 2014 description

Next week’s Climate Change summit in New York is intended to galvanize momentum from world leaders by focusing on tangible climate actions which can be taken now in advance of the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris next November. While the Summit is not part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and while no negotiations related to the convention will take place, the Summit offers an opportunity to keep the issue of climate change alive. I hope that at least some of the leaders in New York next week will focus on mobility as a climate change adaptation strategy.

07 Aug 2014 description

When a disaster strikes, national disaster management organizations (NDMOs) are called to respond quickly and effectively, usually in collaboration with local governmental authorities. These are the governmental agencies that are on the front lines of response and increasingly on the front lines of efforts to reduce the risk of disasters. For many years, international humanitarian organizations and bilateral aid donors have worked to strengthen the capacity of NDMOs.

19 Jun 2014 description

From the very first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has been a recognition that one of the effects of climate change will be on the mobility of people. As sea levels rise, coasts and riverbanks erode and storms increase in intensity, people will move. In 2010, the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change formally recognized mobility as a form of adaptation to climate change with reference to migration, displacement and planned relocations.

09 Jun 2014 description

Climate change is expected to increase the number of sudden-onset disasters caused by natural hazards and as a consequence we can expect more disaster-induced displacement around the world. As experts gathered last week for a meeting of the KNOMAD working group on environmental change and migration, it was clear that while there is much that we know, there is even more we don’t know about the nature of such displacement.

Some things we know:

05 Jun 2014 description

I’ve been interested in big data ever since I first read about it, but never really understood how it worked in practice or considered how it might be used in the humanitarian world. So I when I was asked to be an advisor to a new project at Georgetown University to explore using big data to forecast forced migration, I jumped at the opportunity. The participants in this NSF-funded planning project are an impressive and diverse group, including experts in immunology, data retrieval, law, anthropology, risk management, and of course experts in displacement.