Various forms of the displacement of populations (displacement of risk) are outlawed by numerous international treaties. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1977, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court all prohibit or significantly limit the freedom of States and their officials to relocate portions of the population that inhabit the territories under the State’s control.
Other forms of displacement (displacement of adaptation) are caused by climate change, workforce migration, inequality in the economic development of different regions of the State, distance to main cultural hubs, etc. Voluntary by nature, displacement of this kind is fueled by the natural desire of human beings to seek a better life in a propitious environment.
Whatever the causes of displacement, it alters the cultural and political landscape of States and regions. One of the significant changes that comes with displacement is the deepening of polarisation between those who live on territories affected differently by displacement. This polarisation hinders the ability of populations to find common ground, impedes the functioning of democratic institutions, impoverishes cultural diversity and decreases tolerance of difference.
The Parliamentary Assembly should acknowledge the hidden effects of displacement and initiate a study of the impact of displacement on the polarisation of the political environment.