“The Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)” A postgraduate Training was held in Adama

Addis Ababa University Center for Human Rights (CHR) in the School of Law and Governance organized a five days long postgraduate training for several representatives of regional states, Ministries and government and non-government organizations at Kereyu Hills Resort Hotel in Adama from Oct. 14- Oct.18, 2019.

Christophe Van der Beken (PhD) , Associate Professor at the department of CHR in the School of Law and Governance ,Project Coordinator for Multidisciplinary Human Rights Education and Training sub project in his opening speech said the training focuses on vulnerable communities that include children, women, refugees and IDPs.

Van der Beken said “The project is real with the aegis of STRACE (Strengthening Teaching, Research and Community Engagement of the Center for Human Rights) which is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Swedish Development Cooperation).”

Zelalem Tefera (PhD), Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES), expressed IDPs as people who are deprived of human, property and economic rights.

He also said Internally Displaced People are evicted due to internal violent conflicts, natural disasters and development projects.

“The overwhelming cause of current displacement in our case is the growing communal conflict based on identities as well as competitions upon resources” Zelalem asserted.

“Historically, Displacement was also induced by different grounds. For instance there were ecological factors that forced people to move to North-central part of Ethiopia in the Axumite Empire during its last days” he illustrated.

Regarding resource and environment, Zelalem further explained depletion of resource use as well as ecological factors pushed people to leave their residence in search of convenience.

In connection with religion, Zelalem demonstrated conflicts of religious touch during medieval Ethiopia, believers of Christianity were persecuted and displaced from their monasteries and churches.

With respect to trade, he said “Long distance trade had caused clashes among kingdoms who claimed rights to control the trade routes.”

Desalegn Amsalu (PhD), Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES), on his part said Internally Displaced Persons are the ones that are either obliged or forced to flee their homes of residence.

“Internally Displaced People are displaced within their national territories. So, by definition the IDPs are different from refugees because the displacement occurs within the national boundaries” Desalegn stated.

He further said “the IDPs are entertained with the framework of human rights of any person. They are not recognized as a special legal group entitled with special rights. Their problems are addressed within the rights of everyone.”

 As far as the rights of IDPs is concerned, Desalegn told the staff reporter that the Kampala Declaration is the only international binding treaty which provides the means to solve the problems of IDPs.

Dr. Christophe Van der Beken said the ultimate objective of the training is particularly to improve the human rights of unshielded people such as persons with disabilities and minorities.

“The human rights of IDPs have been threatened. So we hope we’ll improve the situation of these people by strengthening comprehensive knowledge, deepening insights and creating awareness about their bright futures” Christophe aspired.

The project coordinator mentioned that IDPs are entitled to all human rights and because of their situations they are exposed to problems.

Zewdinesh Zegeye, a senior investigation expert in Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, said prevalent political, religious and economic disputes impelled people to run off their residence.

She told the staff reporter that in addition to severe drought, today’s political turmoil bolted dwellers away their home lands.

Theodros Shewangizaw, October 22, 2019