Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Refugees Down, Internally Displaced Persons Up

The Economist has a good video on the latest developments in refugees (those who flee outside their country) and internally displaced persons (IDPs, those who flee but stay in their own country). The overall number of refugees are down; however, there are many more IDPs.

The reason for more IDPs is the turn towards internal, civil wars. There are now very few massive armies that sweep entire populations away from their homes. Now, much of the fighting is down by militia-like units which can only terrorize so much territory. This leaves many places in a country where there still is peace.

On the refugee front there is a negative trend growing. Many refugees do not want to go home. They have become use to aid and their new homeland (where they and other fellow refugees have created little national enclaves). This sadly can cause refugees to overstay their welcome like what happened to Zimbabweans in South Africa in May 2008. Either assimilation programs or an eventual boot-out is needed in these places. No one wants another Palestinian refugee situation where many refugees are forced into camps in neighboring states and feed hateful propaganda by everyone.

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