Masses in Flight: The Global Crisis of Internal Displacement

Brookings Institution Press
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Since the end of the Cold War, increasing numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of armed conflict, internal strife, and systematic violations of human rights. Whereas refugees crossing national borders benefit from an established system of international protection and assistance, those who are displaced internally suffer from an absence of legal or institutional bases for their protection and assistance from the international community.

This book analyzes the causes and consequences of displacement, including its devastating impact both within and beyond the borders of affected countries. It sets forth strategies for preventing displacement, a special legal framework tailored to the needs of the displaced, more effective institutional arrangements at the national, regional, and international levels, and increased capacities to address the protection, human rights, and reintegration and development needs of the displaced.

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About the author

Roberta Cohen is a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and serves as codirector of its Project on Internal Displacement. Francis M. Deng is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement. He has served as the Sudan's minister of state and foreign affairs; as its ambassador to Canada, the United States, and Scandinavia; and as special representative of the United Nations secretary-general for internally displaced persons.

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Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Jan 27, 2012
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Pages
436
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ISBN
9780815791355
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Human Rights
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
Social Science / Poverty & Homelessness
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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An estimated 25 million people worldwide are internally displaced—a significantly larger population than the 18 million refugees. Victims of civil wars, forced relocation, communal violence, natural and ecological disasters, and gross violations of human rights, they lack such human necessities as food, shelter, clothing, safety, basic health, and education. But because they remain inside their countries, they don't receive the same protection and assistance from the international community as those who cross borders and become refugees. Their plight, however, is drawing increasing international attention.

In March 1992, Francis Deng was appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to study this harrowing situation. In this book, a substantially revised version of his report to the UN, Deng examines the causes and consequences of internal displacement, the legal standards for protection and assistance, enforcement mechanisms, the prevailing conditions in the affected countries, and the urgent need for an international response.

In a compelling first-person narrative, Protecting the Dispossessed follows Deng's investigation and is based on interviews and information from governments, international organizations, individuals, and visits to several countries in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

Deng argues that sovereignty entails a responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens and to protect fundamental human rights; the international community must uphold this standard and make violators accountable. While he acknowledges that steps are being taken in the right direction, he maintains that there is still much to be done. He presents a bold proposal, one that requires substantial changes in the international system, in the politics of major governments, and in the relations between states. He proposes a three-phase strategy aimed at monitoring conditions worldwide: to detect impending crises, alert the international community to make a timely intervention, and where preventive measures fail, to mobilize collective international action to remedy or at least alleviate the situation.

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

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Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

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The civil war that has intermittently raged in the Sudan since independence in 1956 is, according to Francis Deng, a conflict of contrasting and seemingly incompatible identities in the Northern and Southern parts of the country. Identity is seen as a function of how people identify themselves and are identified in racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious terms. The identity question related to how such concepts determine or influence participation and distribution in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of the country.

War of Visions aims at shedding light on the anomalies of the identity conflict. The competing models in the Sudan are the Arab-Islamic mold of the North, representing two-thirds of the country in territory and population, and the remaining Southern third, which is indigenously African in race, ethnicity, culture, and religion, with an educated Christianized elite. But although the North is popularly defined as racially Arab, the people are a hybrid of Arab and African elements, with the African physical characteristics predominating in most tribal groups.

This configuration is the result of a historical process that stratified races, cultures, and religions, and fostered a "passing" into the Arab-Islamic mold that discriminated against the African race and cultures. The outcome of this process is a polarization that is based more on myth than on the realities of the situation. The identity crisis has been further complicated by the fact that Northerners want to fashion the country on the basis of their Arab- Islamic identity, while the South is decidedly resistant.

Francis Deng presents three alternative approaches to the identity crisis. First, he argues that by bringing to the surface the realities of the African elements of identity in the North-- thereby revealing characteristics shared by all Sudanese--a new basis for the creation of a common identity could be established that fosters equitable participation and distribution. Second, if the issues that divide prove insurmountable, Deng argues for a framework of diversified coexistence within a loose federal or confederate arrangement. Third, he concludes that partitioning the country along justified borders may be the only remaining option to end the devastating conflict.

Read the critically acclaimed New York Times best-seller with more than one million copies in print. Same Kind of Different as Me was a major motion picture release by Paramount in fall 2017.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

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Continue this story of friendship in What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing, available now. Same Kind of Different as Me also is available in Spanish.

In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.
 
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The civil war that has intermittently raged in the Sudan since independence in 1956 is, according to Francis Deng, a conflict of contrasting and seemingly incompatible identities in the Northern and Southern parts of the country. Identity is seen as a function of how people identify themselves and are identified in racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious terms. The identity question related to how such concepts determine or influence participation and distribution in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of the country.

War of Visions aims at shedding light on the anomalies of the identity conflict. The competing models in the Sudan are the Arab-Islamic mold of the North, representing two-thirds of the country in territory and population, and the remaining Southern third, which is indigenously African in race, ethnicity, culture, and religion, with an educated Christianized elite. But although the North is popularly defined as racially Arab, the people are a hybrid of Arab and African elements, with the African physical characteristics predominating in most tribal groups.

This configuration is the result of a historical process that stratified races, cultures, and religions, and fostered a "passing" into the Arab-Islamic mold that discriminated against the African race and cultures. The outcome of this process is a polarization that is based more on myth than on the realities of the situation. The identity crisis has been further complicated by the fact that Northerners want to fashion the country on the basis of their Arab- Islamic identity, while the South is decidedly resistant.

Francis Deng presents three alternative approaches to the identity crisis. First, he argues that by bringing to the surface the realities of the African elements of identity in the North-- thereby revealing characteristics shared by all Sudanese--a new basis for the creation of a common identity could be established that fosters equitable participation and distribution. Second, if the issues that divide prove insurmountable, Deng argues for a framework of diversified coexistence within a loose federal or confederate arrangement. Third, he concludes that partitioning the country along justified borders may be the only remaining option to end the devastating conflict.

While dramatic changes are taking place on the international scene and among the major powers, Africa continues to suffer from a multitude of violent conflicts. The toll of these conflicts is monumental in terms of war damage to productivity, scarce resources diverted to armaments and military organizations, and the resulting insecurity, displacement, and destruction. At the same time, Africans, in response to internal demands as well as to international changes, have begun to focus their attention and energies on these problems and are trying innovative ways to resolve differences by nonviolent means. The outcomes of these attempts have urgent and complex implications for the future of the continent with respect to human rights, principles of democracy, and economic development.

In this book, African, European, and U.S. experts examine these important issues and the prospects for conflict management and resolution in Africa. They review the scholarship in resolution in light of international changes now taking place. Addressing the undying, internal causes of conflict, they question whether global events will promote peace or threaten to unleash even more conflict.

The authors focus their analysis on the issues involved in African conflicts and examine the areas in need of the most dramatic changes. They offer specific recommendations for dealing with current problems, but caution that unless policymakers confront the security situation in Africa, further destruction to national unity and political and economic stability is imminent. Case studies and themes for further, long-term research are recommended.

The authors assert that sovereignty can no longer be seen as a protection against interference, but as a charge of responsibility where the state is accountable to both domestic and external constituencies. In internal conflicts in Africa, sovereign states have often failed to take responsibility for their own citizens' welfare and for the humanitarian consequences of conflict, leaving the victims with no assistance. This book shows how that responsibility can be exercised by states over their own population, and by other states in assistance to their fellow sovereigns.

Sovereignty as Responsibility presents a framework that should guide both national governments and the international community in discharging their respective responsibilities. Broad principles are developed by examining identity as a potential source of conflict, governance as a matter of managing conflict, and economics as a policy field for deterring conflict. Considering conflict management, political stability, economic development, and social welfare as functions of governance, the authors develop strategies, guidelines, and roles for its responsible exercise. Some African governments, such as South Africa in the 1990s and Ghana since 1980, have demonstrated impressive gains against these standards, while others, such as Rwanda, Somalia, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sudan, have failed. Opportunities for making sovereignty more responsible and improving the management of conflicts are examined at the regional and international levels. The lessons from the mixed successes of regional conflict management actions, such as the West African intervention in Liberia, the East African mediation in Sudan, and international efforts to urge talks to end the conflict in Angola, indicate friends and neighbors outside the state in conflict have important roles to play in increasing sovereign responsibility.

Approaching conflict management from the perspective of the responsibilities of sovereignty provides a framework for evaluating government accountability. It proposes standards that guide performance and sharpen tools of conflict prevention rather than simply making post-hoc judgments on success or failure. The authors demonstrate that sovereignty as responsibility is both a national obligation and a global imperative.

An estimated 25 million people worldwide are internally displaced—a significantly larger population than the 18 million refugees. Victims of civil wars, forced relocation, communal violence, natural and ecological disasters, and gross violations of human rights, they lack such human necessities as food, shelter, clothing, safety, basic health, and education. But because they remain inside their countries, they don't receive the same protection and assistance from the international community as those who cross borders and become refugees. Their plight, however, is drawing increasing international attention.

In March 1992, Francis Deng was appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to study this harrowing situation. In this book, a substantially revised version of his report to the UN, Deng examines the causes and consequences of internal displacement, the legal standards for protection and assistance, enforcement mechanisms, the prevailing conditions in the affected countries, and the urgent need for an international response.

In a compelling first-person narrative, Protecting the Dispossessed follows Deng's investigation and is based on interviews and information from governments, international organizations, individuals, and visits to several countries in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

Deng argues that sovereignty entails a responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens and to protect fundamental human rights; the international community must uphold this standard and make violators accountable. While he acknowledges that steps are being taken in the right direction, he maintains that there is still much to be done. He presents a bold proposal, one that requires substantial changes in the international system, in the politics of major governments, and in the relations between states. He proposes a three-phase strategy aimed at monitoring conditions worldwide: to detect impending crises, alert the international community to make a timely intervention, and where preventive measures fail, to mobilize collective international action to remedy or at least alleviate the situation.

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