International Development Law Organization

Supporting the return, reintegration and protection of Somali IDPs and refugees

Somalia constitutes a country of origin, destination, transit, and return for large movements of people across the Horn of Africa. Movement is driven by the intersecting challenges of protracted and persistent conflict, failing systems of governance, and limited employment and livelihood opportunities. More than 2.1 million Somalis live in protracted displacement, with 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and an additional 1 million Somalis hosted as refugees in countries in the immediate region. This already complex picture is further complicated by the gender dynamics at play within the displaced populations in Somalia. As many as 70-80 per cent of IDP households in the country are headed by women, with significant numbers of victims of sexual and gender based violence hailing from IDP communities. Further, youth migration (“Tahriib”) primarily to Europe is another significant migration issue in Somalia. The increased capacity of Somali authorities to deliver a robust response is critical to protecting the diverse and changing needs of these populations.

With funding from the European Union, IDLO is implementing a project that aims to support the voluntary return, reintegration and protection of Somalis into stable regions of Somalia by improving the protection of displaced populations through rights-based, sustainable and durable solutions. Under this project, IDLO will support the Somali federal government and federal member states in the formulation, revision, finalization, and implementation of critically needed rights-based laws, policies and strategies on mixed migration. The project will include the review of existing legislation and policies concerning IDPs and refugees, giving special attention to the concerns of women and youth, and training to strengthen the capacity of the federal and state governments to implement policies once they have been developed. Lastly, in consultation with the Office of the Special Envoy, the Federal Ministry of Information and other relevant actors, IDLO will develop communications campaign strategies to increase public awareness of migration issues, including those specifically affecting women and children.