Joint Message on the “National Instruments on Internal Displacement – A Guide to Their Development”

Chaloka Beyani and
Chaloka Beyani Former Brookings Expert, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons - United Nations
Walter Kälin
Walter Kälin Former Brookings Expert

September 2, 2013

Dear colleagues,

The international recognition of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the adoption of the Great Lakes Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons and the recent entry into force of the Kampala Convention – are all milestones for the protection of IDPs.

Yet, all these milestones require action at the national level. National authorities who bear the primary responsibility for IDPs are often challenged to fulfill their role without a policy or legal basis. Ordinary legislation regularly fails to address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of IDPs, to allocate clear responsibilities to national and local authorities, or to provide a sound basis for making adequate resources available. As United Nations mandate-holders on internal displacement, we have had a longstanding commitment to support the development of national laws and policies, and to this end it is a pleasure for us to introduce this new and very pertinent tool: National Instruments on Internal Displacement – A Guide to their Development. This guide builds on the expertise of various policymakers and is the culmination of an extensive consultation and piloting period. Its focus is on the process of developing national laws and policies on internal displacement and provides respective guidance to national authorities.

We would like to thank the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement for supporting this project. We also express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who have shared their expertise with us and contributed to this guide, in particular UNHCR, ICRC, UNDP, OCHA, JIPS as well as the Senior Protection Experts of Procap.


Chaloka Beyani, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

Walter Kälin, Former Representative of the UN Secretary General on the Human Rights of IDPs