The need to protect the rights of persons displaced by conflict and find durable solutions to their displacement is inextricably linked to achieving a viable, sustainable peace.
No realistic plan for peace and reconciliation should ignore the rights and interests of IDPs. Failure to consult with IDPs, address their needs or find solutions to their displacement through a peace process and agreement can stir tensions, affect post-conflict politics and challenge ongoing peace-building efforts.
To assist mediators and their teams better understand the rights, needs and interests of IDPs and to provide them with practical guidance on how best to devise processes that address these interests in a meaningful fashion, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement has developed a new resource, Integrating Internal Displacement in Peace Processes and Peace Agreements: A Guide for Mediators. This Guide sets out four steps for mediators to consider at the outset of a peace process. Each step discusses the key issues related to situations of displacement that may arise while planning and conducting a mediator-led peace process. The four steps are:
- Assess the causes, dynamics and characteristics of internal displacement.
- Create a framework for integrating internal displacement.
- Engage IDPs in the peace process.
- Integrate the rights and issues of IDPs in the peace agreement.
"You have to play the long game. It’s fine to add money, but when the commitment is volatile and your funding goes up and down constantly, you can end up creating more harm than good."
"We have been in Central America for a long time. It’s not just money that has made us effective in the region — there is a lot of hard-earned experience, trial and error, and institution building that is slowly reaping results. The worst thing that could happen now is to go back to zero."
"Cutting aid to Central American countries would be a mistake, since U.S. aid dollars fund programs that reduce violence, strengthen the justice system, and encourage investment that make them more attractive places for their citizens."