IDPs, Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2006

Download the Yearly report on major global, regional and thematic developments in the field of internal displacement (3.63 MB), publication date: April 2007, (by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).

Excerpts of this 103 pdf-pages – Page 89: Challenges and difficulties A key obstacle to IDPs’ participation in electoral processes is lack of access to identity-certifying documents (see Documentation chapter). Lack of documentation or diffi culties with obtaining new documents often prevents IDPs from registering as voters and thus contributes to their disenfranchisement. Legal, procedural and practical diffi culties during the registration and voting process were encountered in a number of countries during 2006.

In the DRC, in an IDP camp in Katanga province, displaced people could not vote because they did not have electoral cards. There were also cases of IDPs having their electoral cards stolen by the military, which they later had to buy back in order not to lose the right to vote. There were also situations in the DRC when the returnees were not able to cast their ballots, having been registered only in the area of displacement.

Some IDPs were denied the right to register to vote as a result of misinterpretation of the relevant law and were told to return to their place of origin to register. In Uganda, displaced people were intimidated during the pre-election period by the national army and the Lord’s Resistance Army, both trying to infl uence the outcome of the election.

Security and access to polling stations were a major issue of concern for IDPs in relation to voting, especially in countries in confl ict or with post-confl ict situations. According to Human Rights Watch, voting in parts of northern Uganda was dangerous if not impossible, with access to polling stations hindered due to security concerns. Access was made even more diffi cult by the government’s “decongestion” and resettlement programs, which aimed at reducing the number of IDPs in camps, but which resulted in greater distances to polling stations. It is hard to assess how many people were affected in this way.

Similarly in the DRC, IDPs had to both confront insecurity and walk long distances, especially in the south of the Ituri district and parts of South Kivu Province. Electoral offi cials were warned about the lack of public transport for voters, but nothing was done to resolve the problem.

IDPs often do not participate in public life and in elections – even when, in theory, they could. A 2006 report by the UN Development Fund for Women showed that displaced women need support and encouragement to run for and hold public office and that they are less likely to vote after displacement. This decline in political participation was attributed to their mistrust of the electoral process and doubts about the value of elections … (full long text).

Some links for economic news on June 30, 2007:

Govt mulls setting up of manufacturing investment regions;

Home Values Slashed in Half? The Housing Bubble Is About to Burst;

Area Suburbs See Rise in Foreclosures;

Utrinski Vesnik: Macedonia can expect positive EC report;

Trained manpower vital to economy-Veep;

China’s buoyant economy is not unsinkable.

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