Policy Briefing

How does displacement affect access to justice in conflict areas ? Evidence from research in the DRC

 Koen Vlassenroot, Carolien Jacobs and Tatiana Carayannis

Across the world, millions of people are on the move due to armed conflict, insecurity, or disasters. In 2015, UNHCR estimated that 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced, more than 40 million of them being internally displaced. Responses in most cases focus primarily on direct and humanitarian needs. Little is known f.i. about justice needs of displaced people, this despite the fact that they are often involved in small-scale disputes with host communities or between themselves, and seem to have limited access to justice enhancing mechanisms to settle these disputes. There also seems to be very limited knowledge on the justice concerns of people who live in displacement, the justice providers they consult to overcome their concerns, and the challenges they encounter when seeking justice or claiming their rights.

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