'Internally displaced persons' seminar for civil society

01 May 2006

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is preparing a series of training seminars targeting Civil Society Organisations (NGOs).

New Horizons - The seminars, organized within the framework of the UNDP Programme which aims to support the Turkish Government in developing a comprehensive project regarding Internally Displaced Persons, will be held on June 8-9, 2006. During the seminars, civil society organisations and similar groups will be trained on how to help Displaced Persons in the framework of UN’s Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and how to take part in local and regional coordination efforts in this area.

30 NGOs will attend the training programme which will be conducted by Oslo-based Norwegian Refugee Council.

Background

“The Support Programme for Internally Displaced Persons” is based on a report prepared by a United Nations expert in 2002. The report was the work of Francis Deng, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General. The Deng report noted that the Turkish Government had not been successful in developing a systematic approach to the problems of Displaced Persons in Turkey. Following the report, the government assigned the Population Studies Institute of Hacettepe University to conduct a survey on “Migration and Internally Displaced Persons in Turkey”, which would provide a foundation for the policies to solve the problems of displaced populations. Later on, UN Secretary-General’s next special Representative on Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kälin paid a visit to Turkey in May 2005 upon the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kälin pointed out the positive results of the government’s efforts in providing hope for displaced persons, and made recommendations regarding the issue.

Many people had fled their homes to escape from terrorism and armed conflict in southeastern Turkey during 1985-1997. UN’s global experience emphasizes the importance of NGOs’ cooperation in tackling the problems of Internally Displaced Persons. NGOs’ contributions help increase public awareness on the issue and provide aid to displaced populations based on equity. UNDP aims to assist civil society organisations in taking a step forward towards finding a sustainable solution to the problem.