IDP Participation

Nigeria: Protecting IDPs and displacement-affected communities by speaking their languages

In a highly challenging operating environment, low education and literacy levels among IDPs and language-related barriers to communication between IDPs and humanitarian agencies have obstructed IDPs’ access to information and participation in processes and decisions affecting their protection and prospects. Lack of attention to linguistic diversity has undermined operational effectiveness and accountability by limiting IDPs’ ability to use feedback mechanisms, give informed consent, be included in needs assessments, and access services.

Speaking IDPs’ language and using the right words became especially pertinent in Nigeria as the need for specialized mental health and psychological support grew in a context with mass abduction of girls and high rates of gender-based violence. IDPs and others affected by these violations required specific treatment, which entailed more precise language than normally used in humanitarian work.

Philippines: Practical solutions for protecting IDPs’ right to vote

The Philippines does not have an IDP law or policy that specifies how electoral laws should be applied to reflect displacement contexts, although comprehensive IDP bills have been drafted by members of Congress. To ensure it fulfils its constitutional responsibilities for election-related matters, COMELEC has been obliged to find practical solutions that enable internally displaced Filipinos to exercise their right to vote wherever they are, by working with the support of other entities, such as CHR, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

Ukraine: The role of joint analysis in protecting IDPs’ electoral rights

In Ukraine, changes in national electoral laws occurred in part due to a multi-year advocacy campaign that brought together national and international NGOs, international organizations, the Council of Europe, and members of Parliament, some of whom were IDPs themselves. In addition to the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons’ (Ministry of ToT) Interagency Working Group on Improving National Legislation on the Protection of IDPs Human Rights, the Protection Cluster brought together over 100 actors to coordinate advocacy efforts related to internal displacement, including on electoral rights.

Ukraine: Your rights mobile App

The “Your Rights” app also explains procedures for traveling across or close to the contact line between GCA and NGCA. For instance, in 2019 Denys Kliuchko travelled from Kyiv to visit his parents in Hirske, located close to the contact line. According his parents’ neighbours and colleagues, he would need to present a number of documents (such as a work certificate, guarantee letter from his employer, and income certificate) to pass through military checkpoints. However, according to the mobile app, only a valid passport was required. Denys Kliuchko subsequently visited his parents using only his passport, without being asked to show any other document. He observed, “Because of the app, there is less fear and more confidence. It reduces the level of anxiety and gives you an understanding of your rights in the conflict area.” His parents also encouraged others in Hirske to use the app.

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