By Danya Al-Thani / GICJ 

Geneva Internationa Centre for Justice (GICJ) is deeply concerned about the barriers internally displaced people face which hinders their ability to participate in political life. GICJ believes more must be done to ensure their right to vote and stand for election are protected. 

On June 28th, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced People (IDPs), Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, addressed the obstacles facing internally displaced people with regards to voting and standing in elections. She emphasised that states have a duty to protect the rights of internally displaced people and that their participation in elections strengthens the representativeness and legitimacy of governments. Women and minority groups, especially, must be able to effectively and fully participate in political life. These groups are often subject to increased intimidation and violence aimed at discouraging them from participating in the political process. 

As internally displaced people may be unable to return to their place of origin to vote, and may lack the necessary documentation to register in their place of displacement, it is important that accessible mechanisms are put in place to accommodate their needs, including situating polling stations close to areas hosting displaced people. She advocated for the monitoring of elections to ensure compliance with human rights standards and the adoption of remote polling stations aimed at ensuring the inclusion of internally displaced persons in political life. 

GICJ welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur and supports an increase in human rights monitoring on this issue. We call upon states to ensure that internally displaced people are able to practice their rights to vote and stand in elections without hindrance. 

Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, HRC50, Special rapporteur, Interactive Dialogue, HRC50th, Human Rights, 
Human Rights Council, Justice, Geneva, GICJ, Geneva International Centre for Justice, Geneva4Justice

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