Integrating Internal Displacement in Peace Processes and Peace Agreements

“On the Ground”: IDP Perspectives

Websites

IDP Voices: www.idpvoices.org: This site lets internally displaced people tell their life stories—in their own words. The narratives in these pages are valuable complements to the official information on conflicts which governments and international organizations offer.

Colombia – The Life Stories: On this website you can read and listen to the life stories of 19 internally displaced people in Colombia, as narrated to interviewers who were either displaced people themselves or working with IDPs.

Colombian IDPs – quotes regarding "Participation"

"I still think that the government controls the NGOs. It’s my personal opinion. For example, the document on the integration of the IDP was not prepared with the participation of the IDP. That law was written for them without their involvement. When the law on the IDP is written, their opinions should be taken into account. But there, everything was done as the government wanted.

"I attended one meeting – I was invited – where such a document was being drawn up. The person in charge admitted that it didn’t matter what we did, that the government wanted it that way. I said sarcastically: long live his government and the NGOs. In my opinion the NGOs should be a support for me and the government should be an even stronger support."

Let It Be Known – 3 minute flash presentation of the report Para Que Se Sepa, which is a compilation of life stories told by people displaced by Colombia’s years of internal armed conflict and massive human rights violations (full text available below under "Reports & Papers").

Georgia – The Life Stories: On this website you can read and listen to the voices of 29 internally displaced people in Georgia, who are from the secessionist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They described their experiences to interviewers who were either from NGOs working with IDPs or from communities affected by conflict and forcible displacement.

Georgian IDPs – quotes regarding "The Need for Peace and Reconciliation"

"I do not know what affected our [Georgian-Abkhazian] attitudes. Maybe a third party was involved in this and in this case it was Russia. I hope we will return, but sometimes it seems to me that that will never happen. In fact relationships between people have not settled down, but if that does happen maybe we will return. It’s important for ordinary people to meet, not those who are above them. In fact there’s no hatred towards each other any more. Even my mother-in-law who lost her husband does not rage against the Abkhazians. If you tell her that she can return home she’ll be the first to run there!

"We’re not hunting for the guilty ones. No, why should we search for them? It was a war. It was simply a war, people died on both sides. We should forgive each other. Otherwise living together will not be possible. There is no other way out. We do not have a house in Sukhumi, but there is some land. I could build a hut and live there..."

A Heavy Burden: Internally Displaced in Georgia: Stories of People from Abkhazia and South Ossetia

This document, published in Georgian, Russian and English by IDMC in Geneva, the Norwegian Refugee Council in Georgia, and Panos London’s Oral Testimony Programme, brings together 13 accounts from Georgia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia.

Panos London: “Illuminating Voices” is a website devoted to promoting dialogue, debate, and change with testimonies and resources available for Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Pakistan, India, and Lesotho.

Conciliation Resources: “Building paths to peace: Bo Peace and Reconciliation Movement” is a web-page centering on the peace process in West Africa.

IRIN: Hear Our Voices: A forum for people whose voices are often not heard, whose lives have been affected by catastrophe, be it natural or manmade. Their personal accounts are a testimony to their struggle and their hope for a better future. Stories from aid workers offer a glimpse into the relationships between victims of humanitarian crises and the people who help them.

Reports & Papers

A Heavy Burden: Internally Displaced in Georgia: Stories of People from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This document, published in Georgian, Russian and English by IDMC in Geneva, the Norwegian Refugee Council in Georgia, and Panos London’s Oral Testimony Programme, brings together 13 accounts from Georgia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia.

Let It Be Known: Internally Displaced Colombians Speak Out – Para Que Se Sepa, in Spanish – is a compilation of life stories told by people displaced by Colombia’s years of internal armed conflict and massive human rights violations.

Listening to the Voices of the Displaced: Lessons Learned, by Roberta Cohen, Sep. 2008. This report brings together some of the voices of IDPs from four global regions around common themes and priorities. The purpose of this report is to make better known how IDPs view the major issues affecting them.

The building blocks of sustainable peace: The views of internally displaced people in Northern Uganda, Oxfam International, Oxfam Briefing Paper # 106 (Oxford: Oxfam International, September 2007).

While international attention focuses on the negotiations in Juba between the Ugandan Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, the views of those most affected by the conflict have so far not been adequately heard. Oxfam’s research with displaced people in Northern Uganda highlights that although people feel that their lives have improved since the talks began, they remain pessimistic. As the talks progress, it is crucial that the concerns of the people of Northern Uganda in terms of security, freedom of movement and development are addressed as the essential building blocks of a just and lasting peace.

Video/Audio

Conciliation Resources: www.c-r.org

A small selection of videos documenting the experiences of IDPs in Africa and Georgia.

UNICEF Television News Packages: http://www.unicef.org/videoaudio/video_brolls.html

These betacam video tapes highlight the plight of children around the world as well as UNICEF-sponsored programmes in support of children and their communities.