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Internally displaced persons remaining in camps: A case study of internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences.
2004 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

ABSTRACT

Internally displaced persons remaining in camps

- who are they, why do they stay?

A case study of internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka

Essay in Political Science C, by Rebecka Johansson, fall 2004

This essay is a case study of internally displaced persons in camps in the district of Vavunyia in northern Sri Lanka. The main question was; Why do some internally displaced persons remain in camps when many displaced people already have settled elsewhere? The aim of this study was to examine why some people stay in camps even after a ceasefire agreement has been signed and though many people already have settled. The literature on solutions of conflict-induced displacement is not conceptually rich or theoretically exact. Therefore this study also tried to make a model for analysing why some individuals remain in camps. The model is based on the political scientist Robert Dahl theories on “political resources”. The concept used in this essay is “personal resources”. The personal resources examined were social situations and land and property ownerships and political and legal rights. The study assumes from the hypothesis that the remaining people in camps lack these personal resources which are of importance for their ability and motivation to settle outside the camps. The personal resources have been divided into structural and agential factors.

The result of this study suggests that the given hypothesis was right; the remaining displaced persons lack most of the examined personal resources. Their social situation was characterised by low status, small social network in the place they fled from, low education and unskilled work. A majority of the displaced who remained in the camps were landless. Until recently their legal right to choose settlement was restricted. The only personal resource that the majority of the displaced possessed was the political right to vote. The lack of personal resources affects both the displaced persons’ ability and motivation to find a durable solution.

Worthy to note is that it is impossible to draw clear distinctions between what is to be seen as agential and structural factors. Landlessness which in the introduction was categorised as a structural factor was proved to also constitute an agential factor as it affects people’s motivation to return.

The study shows that the circumstances surrounding internally displaced persons are complex and constitute many obstacles to their possibility to find permanent settlements. The most obvious factors, like not having any place to return to and deprivation of the legal rights of choice of settlement, can be the most important explanations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , p. 45
Keywords [en]
"internally displaced" "Sri Lanka" Vavuniya "remain in camp"
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-472OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-472DiVA, id: diva2:6135
Presentation
1996-01-10
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
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Examiners
Available from: 2006-12-06 Created: 2006-12-06 Last updated: 2018-01-11

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