Internal displacement illustrates civilians’ vulnerability. “New wars” use civilians as pawns—and create tension between individual protection and state sovereignty. The responsibility to protect doctrine should therefore be extended to encompass those targeted and forced to flee their homes within their own countries. Pressure must be exerted by the United Nations and the international community to effectively treat symptoms inherent to weak and unstable states. Governments that have predatory tendencies must be targeted by diplomatic and economic sanctions and media scrutiny. Internal displacement can be symptomatic of genocide, crimes against humanity, or an impending refugee crisis; regional and international actors cannot therefore simply ignore internally displaced persons.
For more on this topic, please see: