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UNHCR launches field handbook for protection of the internally displaced


UNHCR launches field handbook for protection of the internally displaced

UNHCR and several of its partners launch a handbook that will help field workers better protect the rights of internally displaced people around the world.
24 June 2010
In need of Protection: A UNHCR staff member talks to an internally displaced woman in Colombia.

GENEVA, June 24 (UNHCR) - UNHCR and other leading agencies in the protection of internally displaced people (IDP) on Thursday launched a new handbook that will help field workers to more effectively protect the rights of IDPs around the world.

The ground-breaking "Handbook for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons" was presented at a ceremony in Geneva organized by the Global Protection Cluster, an inter-agency working group.

"The Handbook is an important tool that can be used by all humanitarian actors to mainstream protection - as a cross-cutting and multi-dimensional issue - in their response activities, including in emergency settings," said Volker Türk, director of UNHCR's Division of International Protection.

The guide has received input from 107 organizations and entities in 18 countries. UNHCR coordinated publication of the Handbook. It will initially be published in four languages - English, French, Spanish and Arabic - and will continually be updated. It includes a CD-ROM version.

Experts in child protection, mine action, housing, land and property rights, human rights and justice, and prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence contributed to the work. The comprehensive and user-friendly manual is aimed primarily at staff of humanitarian, human rights and development agencies working in IDP operations in the field.

"We hope that the current version of the Handbook fulfills its purpose as a major source of guidance for the protection of the internally displaced and that it serves to enhance their protection, irrespective of their location or the causes of their displacement," wrote Ruven Menikdiwela, deputy director of the Division of International Protection, in a foreword.

UNHCR heads the global protection cluster working group, whose responsibility includes protection in internal displacement situations.

This handbook aims to provide legal and operational guidance to human rights, humanitarian and development actors involved in protection efforts on behalf of internally displaced people and other affected populations in complex emergencies.