Sunday, November 1, 2009

what is an IDP camp?

IDP is an acronym - it stands for "internally displaced persons." Most people are familiar with the term "refugee," and IDP is similar. An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee their home. Unlike refugees, they remain within their country's borders.

During the conflict in Northern Uganda, two million people were forced to leave their homes and resettle in camps - now called "IDP camps." The idea was that bringing people from their villages to these camps would better enable the government to provide protection and services. The conditions in these camps, which were never adequate, deteriorated drastically over the course of the conflict. At its height, almost the entire Acholi population in Northern Uganda lived in camps - lacking food security, jobs and protection.

After signing a cease fire and years of peace discussions in Juba, people began to feel more confident and move back to their villages. Resettlement is now a large concern in the region, as people return to villages with a lack of water points, roads, schools, and clinics - all destroyed by the war.

Many of One Mango Tree's tailors are from IDP camps - namely Unyama and Bobi, where we held a tailor training program in 2008 (photo, right).

To learn more about IDPs in Uganda, or to learn more about the conflict in Northern Uganda, check out some of these great online resources:

Francis Deng's Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement - outlining the definition of IDPs
Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre: Uganda (now estimates 710,000 IDPs remaining)
Resolve Uganda - great for advocacy efforts and updated reporting from the region
Enough Project - another great project raising awareness and advocating to end genocide and crimes against humanity

photos by Glenna Gordon

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