Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

 

One of the most important contributions of the mandate of the special rapporteur has been the development of international standards for internally displaced persons. The Brookings Project since its inception has organized and supported the process by which the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were developed. The Representative of the Secretary General presented them to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1998.

The UN Commission and the General Assembly in unanimously adopted resolutions have taken note of the Principles, welcomed their use as an important tool and standard, and encouraged UN agencies, regional organizations, and NGOs to disseminate and apply them. Individual governments have begun to incorporate them in national policies and laws, international organizations and regional bodies have welcomed and endorsed them, and some national courts have begun to refer to them as relevant restatements of existing international law. In his 2005 report on UN reform (In Larger Freedom) the UN Secretary-General refers to the Principles as "the basic international norm for protection" of IDPs.

The Guiding Principles seek to protect all internally displaced persons in internal conflict situations, natural disasters and other situations of forced displacement. The Handbook for applying the Guiding Principles explains how best to implement the Principles in the field, while the Annotations provide a deeper examination of the legal aspects of the Guiding Principles. For hard copies of these documents, please contact the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement at idp@brookings.edu.



The Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement are based upon international humanitarian and human rights law and analogous refugee law and are intended to serve as an international standard to guide governments, international organizations and all other relevant actors in providing assistance and protection to IDPs.

The Principles identify the rights and guarantees relevant to the protection of the internally displaced in all phases of displacement. They provide protection against arbitrary displacement, offer a basis for protection and assistance during displacement, and set forth guarantees for safe return, resettlement and reintegration. Although they do not constitute a binding instrument, the Principles reflect and are consistent with international law.

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement have been translated into over 50 languages. The English language edition is the original language in which the Principles were drafted and is the authoritative version for reference. The United Nations has translated the Principles into the following official languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian. Academics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and experts in other countries have translated the Principles into other languages.

  • English - The English version is the original & authoritative edition.
  • Abkhaz - The Abkhaz translation was arranged & published by OCHA.
  • Albanian - The translation of the Principles into Albanian was arranged by the Center for Refugees & Forced Migration Studies, Macedonia in collaboration with UNHCR & the Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement.
  • Arabic - The Arabic edition is an official translation of the United Nations.
  • Armenian - The Principles were translated into Armenian by the Government of Armenia with the support of UNDP.
  • Assamese - The Principles were translated into Assamese by Sanjib Baruah with Arup Jyoti Das & Abinash Lahkar in collaboration with the Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies.
  • Azeri/Azerbaijan - The translation of the Principles into Azeri/Azerbaijan was arranged by UNHCR.
  • Bahasa Indonesia - The Bahasa Indonesia translation of the Principles was arranged & published by OCHA.
  • Bengali - The translation of the Principles into Bengali was arranged by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group in collaboration with the Brookings-SAIS (now Brookings-LSE) Project on Internal Displacement.
  • Bodo - The Principles were translated into Bodo by Sri Ajit Kumar Basumatary and reviewed by Sri Chanakya Brahma of the Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies (CENISEAS).
  • Burmese - The Burmese translation of the Principles was completed as a project of the Burma Ethnic Research Group (BERG) with typeset by Drum Publication Group.
  • Cebuano - The Principles were translated into Cebuano by Analiza Ugay, Ecumenical Commission for Displaced Families and Communities.
  • Dari - The Principles were translated into Dari and published by UNHCR in Afghanistan in 2010, updating an earlier version that was arranged by UN-OCHA.
  • Dhivehi - The Principles were translated into Dhivehi by Ahmed Nizam.
  • Dinka - The Principles were translated into Dinka by the South Sudan Law Society.
  • French - The French edition is an official translation of the United Nations.
  • Georgian - The translation of the Principles into Georgian was arranged by the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association.
  • German - The German translation was arranged & published by OCHA.
  • Hausa - The Principles were translated into Hausa by Dr. Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Hindi - The Hindi translation of the Guiding Principles was arranged by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group.
  • Ibo - The Principles were translated into Ibo by Ms. Jovita Chilaka.
  • Japanese - The Japanese translation was undertaken by the Committee on the Elaboration of the Japanese Version of the GPID, chaired by Dr. Kei Hakata, Seikei University.
  • Karbi - The Principles were translated into Karbi by Dr. Bernard Rongphar and reviewed by Prof. Rongbong Terang of the Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies (CENISEAS).
  • Kirundi - The translation and publication of the Principles into Kirundi was organized by OCHA.
  • Kurmanji Kurdish - The Principles were translated into Kurmanji Kurdish by Baran Rizgar.
  • Luo - The Luo translation was arranged & published by OCHA.
  • Macedonian - The Macedonian translation was arranged & published by OCHA.
  • Maguindanaoan - The Principles were translated into Maguindanaoan by Professor Alano T. Kadil.
  • Mandarin - The Mandarin edition is an official translation of the United Nations.
  • Meitei - The Principles were translated into Meitei by Dr. Irom Robindro Singh and reviewed by Dr. Chanambam Sarajubala Devi of the Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies (CENISEAS).
  • Meranaw - The Principles were translated into Meranaw by Baicon Cayongcat-Macaraya. The Meranaw translation was arranged and published by Balay.
  • Nepali - The translation and publication of the Principles in Nepali was organized by the Nepal Institute of Peace.
  • Nuer - The Principles were translated into Nuer by the South Sudan Law Society.
  • Pashtu - The translation and publication of the Principles in Pashtu was organized by UNHCR in Afghanistan in 2010, updating an earlier edition arranged for by UN-OCHA.
  • Portuguese - The translation and publication of the Principles in Portuguese was organized by OCHA.
  • Russian - The Russian edition is an official translation of the United Nations.
  • Rutoro - Not known.
  • Sama - The Principles were translated into Sama by Alkabir M. Pandi. The Sama translation was arranged and published by Balay.
  • Serbo-Croatian (Cyrillic) - The ECRE Focus Group on South-Eastern Europe in collaboration with UNHCR translated the Principles into Serbo-Croatian.
  • Sgaw Karen - The Principles were translated into Sgaw Karen by the Burma Ethnic Research Group in collaboration with UNHCR & OCHA.
  • Sinhala - The translation and publication of the Principles in Sinhala was organized by OCHA.
  • Somali - The Principles were translated into Somali by Mohamood Abdi Noor, World Bank Specialist and published by the Somali Family Care Network.
  • Spanish - The Spanish edition is an official translation of the United Nations.
  • Swahili - The translation and publication of the Principles in Swahili was organized by OCHA.
  • Swahili DRC - The translation and publication of the Principles in Swahili DRC was organized by OCHA.
  • Tagalog - The Principles were translated into Tagalog by the Ecumenical Commission for Displaced Families and Communities, the United Nations Information Center, and UNHCR.
  • Tamil - The translation and publication of the Principles in Tamil was organized by OCHA.
  • Tausug - The Principles were translated into Tausug by Prof. Asiri J. Abubakar. The Tausug translation was arranged and published by Balay.
  • Tetum - The principles were translated into Tetum by Jose Branco. The translation was provided by the Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice of Timor Leste.
  • Thai - Not known.
  • Turkish - The Principles were translated into Turkish by Human Rights Watch and revised by Dr. Kerem Altýparmak, Ankara University.
  • Urdu - The translation of the Principles into Urdu was arranged by the Aurat Foundation.
  • Yoruba - The Principles were translated into Yoruba by Dr. Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

The Handbook by Susan Forbes Martin

The Handbook For Applying the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, published by the Brookings Project and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] (2000), uses non-technical language to explain how to use the Guiding Principles in the field.

See the Handbook in Albanian
See the Handbook in Arabic
See the Handbook in Bahasa Indonesia
See the Handbook in English
See the Handbook in French
See the Handbook in Macedonian
See the Handbook in Portuguese
See the Handbook in Russian
See the Handbook in Spanish
See the Handbook in Thai (Unofficial)


Annotations By Walter Kälin

The Annotations to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, published by the Brookings Project and the American Society of International Law (June 2000), were prepared to clarify and explain the key aspects of the Guiding Principles and set forth in detail their legal antecedents. The Annotations should provide an in depth understanding of the Principles for the legal community and for others seeking to strengthen international law so that it might better protect internally displaced persons. In Spring 2008, the Project released a revised version of the Annotations, published by ASIL.

Download PDF in English
Download PDF in French
Download PDF in Russian
Download PDF in Turkish
View Revised Edition of the Annotations


The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the Law of the South Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan edited by Roberta Cohen, Walter Kälin and Erin Mooney

This book, published by the Brookings Project and the American Society of International Law (2003), analyzes national laws and policies in terms of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and makes recommendations for strengthening national legal protection for IDPs.

See the ASIL Website