On 21 February, PHAP hosted an online learning session in its series on humanitarian law and policy with Cecilia Jimenez, recently appointed Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and Jean-François Durieux.

Protracted conflicts such as those in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and elsewhere, often combined with natural disasters and food crises, have contributed to an unprecedented number of people fleeing their homes – many being displaced within their own countries. The estimated number of IDPs in the world is currently double that of the number of refugees. However, while the causes for their displacement can often be the same, refugees and IDPs are not provided the same protection under international legal frameworks.

In the session, participants were provided with an introduction to the legal frameworks pertaining to internal displacement by Jean-François Durieux, followed by a discussion with the Special Rapporteur regarding her priorities for the protection of IDPs in her new role.

Please note that a separate learning session on the legal protection of refugees was organized on 21 October 2016. Read more about the session on refugees and watch the recordings at phap.org/21oct2016


Cecilia Jimenez Cecilia Jimenez was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2016 and assumed the mandate on 1 November 2016. She is a human rights lawyer specialized in forced displacement and migration. She has over two decades of experience in NGO human rights advocacy for the Asia-Pacific region and also has teaching experience as an adjunct professor of international human rights and humanitarian law. She previously acted as Senior Legal Adviser and Trainer with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Geneva; as the National Director of the IDP Project of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines; and more recently as the government representative to the Philippine Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
Jean-François Durieux Jean-François Durieux is a graduate of Facultés Universitaires St-Louis in Brussels, Belgium, and obtained a Law Degree from the Catholic University of Louvain. He has taught international law at the Refugee Studies Centre (Oxford) 2007-2009, and again 2011-2012. In 2011, Mr Durieux completed a 30-year career with UNHCR, during which he served in Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America, as well as at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva, notably in the Division of International Protection and in the Regional Bureau for Europe. His last position in the organization was that of Director in the Division of Programme Support and Management. Mr Durieux’s research interest has focused on legal responses to mass influxes of refugees, including a comparison of African and European regimes and a reflection on the legal implications of refugee emergencies and protracted refugee situations. He has organized seminars and short courses on statelessness and on the cross-fertilization of refugee law, human rights law, and international humanitarian law. He has recently co-edited, with Dr David Cantor, a major book on the interface between IHL and international refugee law. From September 2014 to September 2016, he was the director of the International Refugee Law and Migration Law programme of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, based in Sanremo (Italy). He is currently contributing, both as a module convenor and as a tutor, to the distance-taught MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies of the University of London, under the auspices of the Refugee Law Initiative.

Event host

Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)

Recordings and follow-up

Session recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Session recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Session recording (audio podcast)

Recommended resources

During the event the following resources and websites were mentioned by speakers and participants:

Learning objectives

· Awareness of different legal frameworks relating to the protection of IDPs, including international human rights law.
· Knowledge of States’ legal obligations towards IDPs and limitations of those obligations.
· Familiarity with the current challenges in applying the legal frameworks in practice.

Target audience and event access

This event is targeted to humanitarian practitioners in the PHAP membership, but is open to the public.

PHAP Credentialing Program

PHAP Credentialing Program

International Legal Frameworks for Humanitarian Action

This event can help you prepare for the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in International Legal Frameworks for Humanitarian Action.

In particular, the event will address segment 4.5 of the certification assessment outline.


Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program