Internally displaced persons: from the action of a sovereign state to intervention by the international community

  • Allan Nascimento


Research on internally displaced persons (i.e. those living inside their own countries but outside their usual areas of settlement) is a challenge, due to the large number of people involved, the harsh conditions they face, the inability (or lack of interest) of national states to protect their citizens, and the international neutrality principle, according to which any external intervention aimed at safeguarding human rights is a difficult issue. This article discusses the categories adopted, the legal provisions and the institutional framework for internally displaced persons protection. A parallel is drawn with refugees. The concept of the sovereign state and the notion of non-interventionism are also examined. Finally, the article discusses the possibility of a transnational public sphere as a mediating authority, where necessary, between governments and their citizens.