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'The protection of the human rights of IDPs rests on the primary responsibility of States'

Addressing the Assembly in her capacity as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Cecilia Jiménez-Damary underlined that 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

The Guiding Principles, she said, remain the appropriate and internationally recognized framework to address and resolve internal displacement, with their emphasis on “sovereignty as responsibility,” the participation of IDPs in decisions that affect them, and their applicability in all displacement situations - due to all causes (including conflict, disasters and human rights violations) and covering all phases of displacement, from prevention of arbitrary displacement through to protection and durable solutions for IDPs.

The GPs also emphasise, she said, that the protection of the human rights of IDPs “rests on the primary responsibility of States to exercise such protection and to put in place legal, policy and institutional frameworks and assistance and protection measures directed specifically at IDPs”.

Nonetheless, there is a complementary responsibility on the part of the international community, civil society, and other actors to provide protection and assistance to IDPs too, she said. “I would also like to take the opportunity to stress that the human rights of those forcibly displaced should be protected at all times, regardless of where IDPs are”.