Armed non-State actors and displacement

We are pleased to announce the release of “Armed non-State actors and displacement in armed conflict”. This study, commissioned by Geneva Call with support from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, was authored by Héloïse Ruaudel.

It builds on an international conference co-organized by Geneva Call and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) in 2011 to further explore the dynamics at play between armed non-State actors (ANSAs) and the phenomenon of displacement, both internal and trans-border. It also provides an overview of the legal and normative frameworks applicable to ANSAs in displacement contexts and a mapping of current engagement efforts with ANSAs to protect displaced people.

The research highlights that in many conflict situations, displacement is not a deliberate strategy but a by-product of the conflict or of other drivers, such as natural disasters. ANSAs have many different modes of interaction with displaced people, ranging from being the causes of the displacement through actively taking protective action. Framing them as ones of “violators and victims” only is simplistic and discounts the potential protective role ANSAs can play.

The research also found that the legal and normative framework, though well-established, leaves gaps and unclear areas in relation to ANSAs. There is also limited principled engagement with ANSAs on their responsibilities towards displaced people.

The research concludes with a series of recommendations to various stakeholders, including the need to develop further guidelines and strategies for ANSA engagement on displacement-related issues.
We trust this study will be of interest and use in your work and that of your colleagues. Your feedback and comments are welcome.
To download and read the report:

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