In 1998, 30 basic principles describing human rights standards for the internally displaced were presented to the United Nations. The Representative for the UN Secretary General and the Brookings Project on Internal Displacement developed these principles over the course of two years of expert consultations. Known today as the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and distilled from existing international human rights and humanitarian law, these 30 principles are the international standard protecting the rights of the tens of millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) globally. Despite the adoption of the Guiding Principles ten years ago, much still remains to be done to protect the rights of IDPs. Though the international community has an important role to play, the primary responsibility for the protection of IDPs rests with their own state.
To assist states in protecting the rights of IDPs within their country through the development of national laws and policies, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement has developed a new manual for law and policy-makers. On December 17, the Project launched the new manual and hosted a panel discussion on the achievements of the Guiding Principles, as well as the obstacles that still remain to their implementation.