Legal issues and prospects in the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria

Ekpa, Shedrack and Md Dahlan, Nuarrual Hilal (2016) Legal issues and prospects in the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria. Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization, 49. pp. 108-116. ISSN 2224-3240

Abstract

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) lived within the borders of their own country thus the responsibility for their protection and assistance rests on their national government. IDPs are not so privileged like refugees whose protection is guaranteed in international law. The protection and assistance of IDPs is encumbered by series of legal and institutional constraints in Nigeria. These concerns are interminable and preponderates all phases of internal displacement such as pre-displacement, displacement and post displacement. This paper aims at exploring into these bulging challenges with a view to bringing to the fore their intractable influence on the protection needs of IDPs.The paper also delves in examination of laudable efforts of Nigerian Government in a bid to ameliorate these challenges either by way of statutory interventions or policy initiatives. The paper as a conceptual analysis relies on primary sources such as international legal instruments, Nigerian domestic legislations, case law, and secondary sources such as textbooks, journal articles and other library based sources. This study is significant as it brings to the fore the imperative needs to address the prevailing difficulties faced by internally displaced persons as a result of unending surge in internal crises in Nigeria At the end of this discourse, the paper founds inter-alia that good laws and policies without the appropriate political will to implement them for the betterment of IDPs as part of the entire citizenry would remain dead letters. The paper recommends the adoption and implementation of relevant instruments and policies on IDPs’ protection in Nigeria and review of extant laws and policies as a way of bridging the gaps in the protection cycle of IDPs in Nigeria.

Keywords: Displacement, Persons, Protection, Responsibility, Challenges, Nigeria

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