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Title: The legal framework for the return of internally displaced persons during situations of armed conflict : A colombian case study
Author: Cantor, David James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 8665
Awarding Body: The University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2010
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Existing international law practice and scholarship on the return of internally displaced persons (lOPs) is predicated upon a 'Balkan paradigm' in which lOP returns occur within a post-conflict setting defined by effective State enforcement of the rule of law. Nowhere is the influence of this paradigm more evident than in the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement provision that deals with return. Yet, even as this UN framework becomes increasingly important in making and interpreting international law for the return of lOPs, the underlying paradigm remains rooted in the particular features of the post-conflict Balkans. To create an effective counterpoint to this partiality, the thesis draws upon the data from my year's field research in Colombia in 2007 to analyse lOP returns in this context of protracted armed conflict and attenuated State control. It finds that the Guiding Principles returns framework is interpreted by Colombian law to emphasise the exclusive agency of the State military as the guarantor of returns. However, distinct from any legal standards, the other parties to the conflict each apply their own normative frameworks for the return of lOPs. In practice, these overlapping and competing frameworks provide an important alternative basis for returns by lOPs. This study concludes that, in their current form, the Guiding Principles have limited utility as a framework for lOP returns during extended armed conflicts such as Colombia, suggesting that a redrafting is required. Moreover, by shifting attention towards the normative frameworks that structure lOP returns in practice, this work provides a platform for constructive humanitarian engagement by the international community in lOP returns during such conflicts. In these ways, this thesis illustrates not only the limits of the Balkan paradigm but also possibilities for moving beyond them to construct a more coherent framework for the protection of returning IDPs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available