Displacement happens when people are forced from their homes and communities as a result of deliberate actions taken by other human beings for reasons that range from war, “ethnic cleansing,” and political differences to urban renewal. A refugee is a displaced person who has fled or was forced to flee his or her own country. Internment is when a displaced person is confined within a definite area.
The following are examples of campaigns against displacement around the world:
Three-year-old M’penzie’s parents were killed in a dawn attack on her village. She was shot in the shoulder and foot, but miraculously survived.
Read about Rwanda: Rural Poor Forced to Leave their Homes (Human Rights Watch Press release, June 11, 2001)
More than 3 million people reportedly have died in the Congo since 1998, many as a result of various armed conflicts involving the armed forces of the DRC, a range of armed militias and a number of foreign armies. The escalation in the violence also has created a refugee crisis in the area.
Read more about the Crisis in Ituri Province in the Congo.
Thousands of people in Korokon refugee camp in western Eritrea are living among unexploded British cluster bombs, a legacy of the 30 year civil war with Ethiopia.
Read about the cost of conflict in Africa.
ANC Today is a weekly online publication of the African National Congress.
“The forced removal of our people from District Six has come to symbolize everything that was wrong about the system of apartheid and white minority domination.”
Read the Address at the District Six Land Claims Celebrations.
European Roma Rights Center defends the rights of the Roma.
Ninety-one Czech citizens, most of whom were reportedly Romani, were expelled from Britain to Czech Republic on January 21, 2003, following the rejection of their applications for asylum.
Instead of protecting them, the Nepali government put the refugees in harm’s way. It doesn’t matter why the Tibetans left home, but the very act of leaving puts them at risk of persecution should they be returned. Read more about how Nepal Endangers Tibetans with Efforts to Force Return to China (Human Rights Watch Press release, New York, May 30, 2003)
Read testimonials from two displaced Colombians.
Jesus, “I had a small ranch in Choco, with 200 coconut trees. We had yucca, we had five cows, we had 15 hectares of maize planted, and we had nearly a tonne harvested, ready to go to market. But then men came to my house and said we had to go.”
Israel, “We were driven away from Bella Cruz in February 1996; 170 families in total. The government had promised us land but all we saw were massacres and violation of our rights. Men arrived armed with rifles, dressed in civilian and military clothing. They gave us five days to leave the land.”
Learn more about the 33 million displaced people throughout the world and take action. Oxfam’s Conflict Campaign aims to reduce the needless suffering caused by conflict.
“It is so sad to leave family. But I said to myself that I could meet my family somewhere, sometime, if I could stay alive…” Every day people make the agonizing decision to leave their homes because they are afraid for their lives.
Help Amnesty International defend the rights of refugees around the world.
Meet Speak Truth to Power’s Defenders speaking out on issues of displacement around the world.
Raji Sourani, Gaza (Bio)
“I thought: all these prisoners, their miserable conditions, the systematic torture and abuse, and nobody knows anything about it. And then I thought of the house demolitions, the land confiscations, the daily beatings. I said to myself: I’m a lawyer, can’t somebody be a witness to these crimes?”
Anonymous, Sudan (Bio)
“As a consequence of the war, all the young people in our country, after taking university entrance exams, are drafted and sent to jihad. They are given less than a month training-not nearly enough-handed weapons, and sent to the front.”
Fauziya Kassindja, Togo (Bio)
Kassindja became the first person to receive political asylum from the United States based on the threat of female genital mutilation. Up to 130 million women worldwide, the vast majority concentrated in 26 African nations, have been subjected to female genital mutilation, and two million annually confront it.
The armed conflict in Kosovo in the late 1990’s resulted in the displacement of over 800,000 Kosovars. Today, nine years later, it is estimated that 22,000 minorities are still displaced within the borders of Kosovo.
Since the start of the 2003 war in Iraq, almost half a million Iraqis have sought refuge in Jordan. Many arrived with little more than what they were carrying.
Learn more about these and other issues of displacement around the world and explore how you can Take Action.