Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons


Chapter 5: Protecting the Internally Displaced

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued a 2012 report, explaining governments’ responsibilities to take care of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the steps that are currently being taken to protect them. IDPs are people who are forced to leave their homes due to man-made or natural disasters, political persecution, etc. but remain within their own country’s borders. Protection for these vulnerable populations comes from local, national and international levels.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Chapter 5: Protecting the Internally Displaced.” The State of the World’s Refugees: In Search of Solidarity. 2012. Web. October 2013. <>.


U.S. considers taking in Syrian refugees

Journalist Paul Richter explains the effects of the Syrian civil war, which has left 1.6 million people without a home. The United States is currently looking into accepting up to 80,000 UN-referred Syrian refugees. The article analyzes the obstacles of providing refugee status to over 80,000 Syrians. For instance, selecting who qualifies for resettlement poses to be a concern. Nevertheless, this article is noteworthy because it highlights the United States as a potential provider of protection for Syrian refugees.

Richter, Paul. “U.S. considers taking in Syrian refugees.” Los Angeles Times. 9 June 2013. Web. October 2013. <,0,6484601.story>.


Chapter 4: International Protection in Practice

This handbook, assembled by the International Parliamentary Union (IPU), highlights the responsibility of states to protect international refugees, as well as the ways in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is able to help them do so. Chapter 4, titled “International Protection in Practice,” explains the practical actions taken in response to refugee issues and emergencies. The chapter first defines what a refugee emergency is, stating that it is a life or death situation for a refugee in which immediate help is required. However, there is a grey area when a refugee falls under the broader definition provided by the UNHCR, but does not fall under the definition provided by the Refugee Convention. On account of this, the UNHCR introduced an expanded set of internationally recognized basic standards for refugee emergencies.

International Parliamentary Union. “Chapter 4: International Protection in Practice.” Refugee Protection: A Guide to International Refugee Law. 2001. Web. October 2013. <>.


Denial and Delay: The Impact of the Immigration Law’s ‘Terrorism Bars’ on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the United States (Pgs. 12-13)

“Terrorism bars” are procedural laws utilized to block terrorists from American soil; however, they also delay and hinder refugees’ entrance into the United States. This section offers potential solutions to eliminate the “terrorism bars” in order to successfully grant refugee status in the United States. This section recommends that Congress redefine terrorist activity, eliminate the notion of a “Tier III” terrorist organization, and no longer deem a spouse or child as automatically inadmissible. Human Rights First provides several recommendations that could help grant more protection to those seeking refuge in the United States.

“Denial and Delay: The Impact of the Immigration Law’s ‘Terrorism Bars’ on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the United States.” Human Rights First. November 2009. Pgs. 12-13. Web. October 2013. <>.


Somali Refugees: Protecting Their Rights in Cities

Since conflict emerged in Somalia, thousands of Somali refugees have fled to neighboring countries, often finding asylum in urban areas. In these cities, however, refugees often encounter police brutality, arbitrary arrest and detention, and are forced to return to Somalia. This field report by Refugees International explains these issues and provides policy recommendations for the protection of these displaced people. Although the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) claims that urban areas are a legitimate place for refugees to find asylum and protection, a lack of attention has allowed these issues to persist. The report asserts that UNHCR and the international community must take a greater role in ensuring that the basic rights of refugees are protected in urban areas.

“Somali Refugees: Protecting Their Rights in Cities.” Refugees International. 16 June 2010. Web. October 2013. <>.

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