Responses to Internal Displacement in Colombia: Guided by What Principles?


  • Ellen Fadnes Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • Cindy Horst Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)



Colombia, internal displacement, law, depoliticization, UN Guiding Principles


This article aims to explain the gap between IDP law and practice in Colombia. Colombia’s IDP legislation is con­sidered one of the world’s most advanced legal systems as it puts in practice the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. However, the reality of life for IDPs in Colombia does not match their legal rights. Especially the sections of the law related to preventing displacement and providing durable solutions for IDPs are poorly imple­mented. Following Ferguson’s work on depoliticization, we argue that displacement in Colombia is treated as a tech­nical rather than political problem, detaching it from root causes like landownership and structural class inequalities. This article provides an overview of the root causes and analyzes the different methods through which internal dis­placement is “depoliticized” in Colombia. In conclusion, we will discuss the wider implications of the Colombian case for understanding implementation challenges of the Guiding Principles.


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How to Cite

Fadnes, E., & Horst, C. (2010). Responses to Internal Displacement in Colombia: Guided by What Principles?. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 26(1), 111–120.



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