Not only do protracted refugee situations make up a greater percentage of the total refugee population than ever before, but these situations are lasting longer due to the ongoing violence and instability that persists in many parts of the world. The crisis of protracted refugees shows no signs of being resolved in the near future, despite an urgent need for a global response.
The State of Displacement: Refugees and IDPs
With protracted refugee crises overwhelming the system, the international community is in dire need of new thinking and a global response. Meanwhile, new actors and new approaches to the refugee-protection mandate are challenging the established thinking of the refugee-assistance community. And in Colombia, the flight of millions from five decades of armed conflict illustrates the challenges facing both internally displaced persons and governments.
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Articles in this feature
It is a truism in the world of refugee assistance that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees holds the refugee-protection mandate. But with a host of new actors and new approaches challenging long-held beliefs about refugee protection, the nature of this mandate, and what it means to protect refugees, are not as clear as they appear.
More than five decades of fighting among the Colombian military, leftist rebels, drug traffickers and right-wing paramilitary groups have forced millions of Colombians to flee their homes to escape the crossfire. The resulting displacement crisis is inextricably linked to the land grabbing that lies at the heart of the country's armed conflict.