Authors: 1Prisca Kamungi | 2Jacqueline Klopp
The Great Lakes region has over 8 million internally displaced persons, yet only halting progress has occurred in grappling with the enormous human rights, governance, security and development policy problem this situation poses. One bright spot in trans-national advocacy efforts on behalf of the displaced (IDPs) is the Protocol on the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons that emerged from the IC/GLR. The central questions of this paper are: 1) Does potential exist for this new legal instrument to help efforts to assist IDPs? 2) What are the key challenges to localizing the Protocol and implementing the related Projects, and as result, seeing real changes in IDP conditions on the ground? This paper examines the IC/GLR as a political and diplomatic process and how this impacts the potential for the Protocol’s internalization by member countries of the IC/GLR. The next section examines the Kenyan political situation, IDP advocacy efforts and the potential for using the protocol as leverage in this case. The final section draw lessons for how trans-national advocacy coalitions might better “step-down” the IC/GLR and how the process itself might be altered to better enhance the protection and assistance needs of IDPs and avoid becoming yet another exercise in regional diplomacy.
Keywords: Internally Displaced, Challenges of Protecting