The word refugee has become a common topic in the Western World. From the war in Ukraine to the Taliban establishment in Afghanistan, the word refugee has become one of the most used words in our daily vocabulary. Sadly, many people must displace themselves from or within their countries due to conflict or extreme poverty. Countries such as Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and the Syrian Arab Republic, have the highest refugee rates around the world in 2021 (UNHCR).
This displacement of persons within or outside a country can culminate in “persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order.” (UNHCR). Due to these contributing factors, 89.3 million people were displaced worldwide. Nevertheless, with the Ukrainian-Russian war on Ukrainian soil, displaced people have increased significantly.
With the significant increase of stateless people in 2022, formulating and executing an efficient response to the issue is complicated. This because rather than international immigration, displacement also occurs within a country. This is product of conflict within the nation that requires people to leave their homes, transferring to safer areas within the country. Thus, while a refugee displaces themselves across an international border, having a special status within international law and protection, internally displaced people do not have those privileges since their movement is only internal, meaning within a country (United Nations).
Both terms have been observed in the war in Ukraine. Since the Russian attacks demanded Ukrainian families to escape cities, many of them where displaced within the country. At the beginning of the war, Kyiv was evacuated mainly due to the fear of heavy Russian attacks, making millions of families displace themselves to other areas within the country. The evacuation of Ukrainians from Mariupol by the United Nations revealed an example of the internal displacement of persons due to conflict imposed in the country (AP News). Furthermore, it is believed that there are over 7.6 million Ukrainian refugees as of October 2022 (Brookings).
Afghanistan is a country whose destiny and human rights were completely changed when the Taliban regime overthrew the government. Along with international displacement, Afghanistan also suffers from an internal displacement of persons due to conflict, violence, natural disasters, economic crisis, and lack of nutrition. It is estimated that due to the factors above, 748.000 Afghans were internally displaced in 2021 (Migration Data Portal). This number increased to 4.3 million Afghans living in another region within the country to escape violence and aggression found within specific areas. (Migration Data Portal).
Therefore, there is a requirement for efficient measures to accommodate internally displaced people and refugees. These could vary from local integration to housing and property restitution for both. Thus, within the Iberian Model United Nations Conference, the debate about which measures should be taken to accommodate refugees and internally displaced people is essential and should be carefully thought out.
"About internally displaced persons." United Nations, www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-internally-displaced-persons/about-internally-displaced-persons. Accessed 15 Oct. 2022.
"Can the World Get Aid to Afghanistan?" The Diplomat, Philip Smucker, 24 Sept. 2021, thediplomat.com/2021/09/can-the-world-get-aid-to-afghanistan/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2022.
"Internal Displacement." Migration Data Portal, www.migrationdataportal.org/afghanistan/internal-displacement. Accessed 15 Oct. 2022.
"More than $1.2 Billion in Humanitarian Aid Pledged to Afghanistan." The Diplomat, Catherine Putz, 14 Sept. 2021, thediplomat.com/2021/09/more-than-1-2-billion-in-humanitarian-aid-pledged-to-afghanistan/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2022.
"Refugee data Finder." UNHCR, www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/. Accessed 13 Oct. 2022.
"Ukrainian refugees: Challenges in a welcoming Europe." Brookings, Omer Karasapan, 14 Oct. 2022, www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2022/10/14/ukrainian-refugees-challenges-in-a-welcoming-europe/. Accessed 13 Oct. 2022.
"UN works to broker civilian evacuation from Mariupol." AP News, DAVID KEYTON and INNA VARENYTSIA, 30 Apr. 2022, apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-zelenskyy-kyiv-business-antonio-guterres-978fb92a44aad8f4fc297b9454ed7c0f. Accessed 13 Oct. 2022