Proposal for a Law on Internal Displacement in Peru

Francis M. Deng
Francis M. Deng Former Brookings Expert

July 4, 2003

It is with great pleasure that I have learned of the recent initiative undertaken in the Congress of Peru to create a national legal framework for upholding the rights of the internally displaced persons. Increasingly, governments around the world have been finding it valuable to adopt laws and policies specifically dealing with the problems of persons who are internally displaced and to use the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the first international standards for displaced populations, as the framework for so doing.

When I visited Peru in 1995, I found a country still in the grips of civil strife, with hundreds of thousands of persons forcibly displaced by the conflict, drawn overwhelmingly from indigenous communities in particular the Asháninkas. The displaced were suffering from elevated levels of mortality and disease, lack of shelter, food, health services and education, and were particularly vulnerable to physical dangers and harm.