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From internal displacement to refugees: the trauma of Chakmas in Bangladesh

Authors: Kharat, Rajesh S.
Keywords: Bangladesh -- social conditions; Bangladesh -- Chakmas; Bangladesh -- tribal populations; Bangladesh -- minority rights; Bangladesh -- refugees; Bangladesh -- politics; Bangladesh -- Chittagong
Issue Date: Feb-2003
Description: In the years after the Second World War, the world has witnessed a large number of political upheavals in many countries. The European and Third World countries are the most affected. Reasons for such disturbances range from simple political rivalry, regional conflicts of a country, ethnic issues and unequal distribution of natural resources and development projects to, simple persecution of people of minorities by one country to those of another, one region to another region due to racial discrimination. All these caused to create refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) or internal refugees. Because of fear of international repercussions, most of the regimes in the Third World as well as in developed countries do not recognize IDPs. The IDPs, themselves become uprooted people with very little or no state protection and continue to face the hostility of the population wherever they are forced to stay, leading to gross human rights violation. Apart from these man-made disasters, natural disasters like earth-quakes, eruption of volcanoes, landslides, famines, floods, and epidemic diseases have contributed the creation of IDPs in relation to the local natives in many underdeveloped countries, especially in Africa and Asia. Thus in the contemporary world, the IDPs and Refugees have become a major concerns and the subject of not only one nation but also of overall international relations. The United Nations and international law have taken serious note of these forced migrants. There are an estimated 20 – 22 million people internally displaced by conflict throughout the world. Many live in appalling conditions with little security. In general, the IDPs are forced migrants living without national boundaries, and government protection. Most of them want to flee as far as possible from conflict, but refugees are not welcomed, so they choose to remain in their own country and thus the number of internally displaced people has been steadily growing. Thy live without any formal documentation and identity cards, unlike refugees (who are at least formally recognized), and do not get any international coverage or publicity for their existence on the earth. In this context one should take note of the definition of IDPs in general and the definition used by the United Nations in particular.
Appears in Collections:International Relations & Ethnic Minorities: NGO and Think-Tank Reports

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