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A displaced person (sometimes abbreviated DP) is a person who has been forced to leave his or her home or place of habitual residence, a phenomenon known as forced migration.
According to the UNHCR, there were 59.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2014, the highest level since World War II: 19.5 million were refugees, 1.8 million asylum seekers and 38.2 million internally displaced persons.
Origin of term
The term was first widely used during World War II and the resulting refugee outflows from Eastern Europe, when it was used to specifically refer to one removed from his or her native country as a refugee, prisoner or a slave laborer. The meaning has significantly broadened in the past half-century. A displaced person may also be referred to as a forced migrant. The term "refugee" is also commonly used as a synonym for displaced person, causing confusion between the general descriptive class of anyone who has left their home and the subgroup of legally defined refugees who enjoy specified international legal protection. Most of the victims of war, political refugees and DPs of the immediate post-Second World War period were Ukrainians, Poles, other Slavs, as well as citizens of the Baltic states - Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians, who refused to return to Soviet-dominated eastern Europe.
International law aspects
If the displaced person has crossed an international border and falls under one of the relevant international legal instruments, they are considered a refugee. A forced migrant who left his or her home because of political persecution or violence, but did not cross an international border, is commonly considered to be the less well-defined category of internally displaced person (IDP), and is subject to more tenuous international protection. The forced displacement of a number of refugees or internally displaced persons according to an identifiable policy is an example of population transfer. A displaced person who crosses an international border without permission from the country they are entering is an illegal immigrant. The most visible recent case of this is the large number of North Koreans who have settled in the border region of China.
A migrant who fled because of economic hardship is an economic migrant. A special sub-set of this is development-induced displacement, in which the forced migrant was forced out their home because of economically driven projects like that of the Three Gorges Dam in China and various Indian dams. The internally displaced person generally refers to one who is forced to migrate for reasons other than economic conditions, such as war or persecution. There is a body of opinion that holds that persons subject to development-induced displacement should have greater legal protection than that granted economic migrants.
Persons are often displaced due to natural or man-made disasters. Displacement can also occur as a result of slow-onset climate change, such as desertification or sea-level rise. A person who is displaced due to environmental factors which negatively impact his or her livelihood is generally known as an environmental migrant. Such displacement can be cross-border in nature but is frequently internal. No specific international legal instrument applies to such individuals. Foreign nations often offer disaster relief to mitigate the effects of such disaster displacement. Bogumil Terminski distinguishes two general categories of internal displacement: displacement of risk (mostly conflict-induced displacement, deportations and disaster-induced displacement) and displacement of adaptation (associated with voluntary resettlement, development-induced displacement and environmentally-induced displacement).
Following the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the term "refugee" was sometimes used to describe people displaced by the storm and the aftereffects. There was an outcry that the term should not be used to describe Americans displaced within their own county, and the term "evacuee" was substituted in its place. The UNHCR similarly opposes the use of the term 'refugee' in reference to environmental migrants, as this term has a strict legal definition.
"DP" has also been used a derogatory term used when referring to immigrants, specifically those from Eastern Europe coming to the United States, who have not been forced out of their native countries. For example, Ukrainian immigrants from the "first wave" immigration (1890–1924) greatly resented the immigrants who came in the "second wave" after the Second World War, as the latter group were perceived not as "poor refugees" but as persons who had managed to leave Europe and bring considerable wealth with them.
- Displaced Persons camp: DP camps following World War II
- Earl G. Harrison's "Report on DPs in Western Europe in 1945" to U.S. President Harry S. Truman
- April 1986 Chernobyl disaster created over 336,000 internally displaced persons
- Kampala Convention
- "UNHCR – Global Trends –Forced Displacement in 2014". UNHCR. 18 June 2015.
- Mark Wyman: Dps: Europe's Displaced Persons, 1945-1951. Cornell University Press 1998 (reprint). ISBN 0-8014-8542-8.
- A. J. Jaffe: Notes on the Population Theory of Eugene M. Kulischer. In: The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2. (April 1962). Pp. 187-206.(online)
- U.N. Convention relating to status of Refugees[dead link]
- "Associated Press story on debate". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Environmental refugees: myth or reality?, Richard Black" (PDF). UNHCR. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Luciuk, Lubomyr, "Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada and the Migration of Memory," University of Toronto Press, 2000.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Displaced persons.|
- News From SNN.CO.IN - Number of displaced people in world reaches over millions
- Pictures of Refugees in Europe - Features by Jean-Michel Clajot, Belgian photographer
- Mission and Justice Refugee and Migrant news relating to the Asia - Pacific region.
- Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
- Forced Migration Online
- Forced Migration Review world's most widely read magazine on displacement issues: published in four languages
- International Association for the Study of Forced Migration
- The Journal of Refugee Studies from Oxford University
- Photojournalist's Account - Images of displacement in Sudan
- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Norwegian Refugee Council
- Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children
- Hilton, Ella E. "Displaced Person: A Girl's Life in Russia, Germany, and America".Baton Rouge LA. :Louisiana State University Press July 2006. ISBN 978-0-8071-3192-3
- Rehabilitation for Emigration - IRO. Area Vocational Training School. Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany 1948
- UNESCO (2011) 'Migration and Climate Change'
- Piguet, E., Pécoud, A. and de Guchteneire, P. (2010) Migration and Climate Change: an Overview
- Terminski, B., Oil-induced Displacement and Resettlement, Simon Fraser University (Human Security Gateway), 2011
- Displaced Persons Act of 1948