Non-Refoulement in the Context of Internal Displacement

Published 05. Sep 2017
The Case of IDPs in South Sudan’s Protection of Civilians Sites

The principle of non-refoulement is often regarded as being exclusively applicable in contexts of international cross-border displacement. But while the term refoulement did indeed gain recognition through its inclusion in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, similar concepts can be found in a far more diverse set of legal frameworks whose protection extends well beyond the refugee sphere.

This paper explores the principle of non-refoulement in the context of internal displacement, and draws on aspects of international and regional law that address the principle of “no-return.” It examines the territorial dimensions associated with non-refoulement under the relevant bodies of law, and uses the experience of South Sudan (where over 200,000 internally displaced persons are currently seeking protection in UN peacekeeping bases) as a case study.