Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock: Statement on the anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
Today we mark the twenty-first anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and take stock of our plan to ensure the principles are applied to protect and empower millions of internally displaced people, or IDPs.
Launched by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, UN humanitarian agencies and partners on this day last year, the GP20 Plan of Action calls for stronger development plans and budgets, laws and policies, to protect, support and empower people who have been displaced within their own borders.
It has already produced results. In Central African Republic, Honduras, Niger and South Sudan, for instance, new laws and policies are being shaped or adopted to protect and empower IDPs.
But we need to do much more to reduce and resolve internal displacement by 2020, as set out in the Guiding Principles.
Forty million people are displaced in their own countries by armed conflict, violence, persecution or natural disasters. Fresh displacements occur daily, as we have seen in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere over recent weeks. Cut off from their communities, many displaced people still languish on the margins of society, struggling to access jobs and essential services.
I join the call to ask that IDPs are treated equally, with the same rights and freedoms as everyone else and the same opportunities to contribute to their societies. Delivering on the Guiding Principles Plan of Action is an important step in this direction.
London, 17 April 2019