In Pursuit of Coherence: Internal Displacement Policy across Conflict and Disaster Settings
A concern with internal displacement is increasingly evident across the main international regimes that are relevant to conflict and disasters. Each of these five regimes focuses on responding to different kinds of challenges presented by conflict-driven or disaster-driven displacement. This raises the question of whether policy on internal displacement remains coherent across these distinct international regimes. Against the empirical backdrop of conflicts and disasters as contexts within which internal displacement occurs, this paper analyses the coherence of international policy on displacement prevention and planning, protection and assistance to displaced persons, and solutions to displacement across the five domains of: (i) the international legal regime on internal displacement; (ii) international humanitarian law and the peace and security regime; (iii) the disaster risk reduction regime; (iv) the climate change regime; and (v) the sustainable development framework expressed by the 2030 Agenda and international commitments on urban development in the New Urban Agenda. It concludes that, whilst each of the five international regimes addresses internal displacement from a distinct perspective, there appears to be no generalised incompatibility between their rules as they apply to internal displacement, whether driven by conflict or disasters. Nonetheless, given the dispersed nature of the rules, it suggests that a single document that holistically describes and connects these diffuse international standards across all five regimes, and as they relate to the different stages and contexts of internal displacement, would be useful for integrating those approaches.