Team Basilan undergoes training on IDP protection, information management PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 December 2014 13:51

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – Quality of information and how this is managed in conflict situations that result to humanitarian crisis is vital to quick response, relief, and rehabilitation efforts.

This was emphasized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the two-day training in Zamboanga City on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Protection and Information Management (IM) to members of the Basilan Peace and Development Coordinating Committee, also known as Team Basilan.

Brenda Escalante, National Protection Officer of UNHCR said the training was aimed to build capacity of government monitoring and reporting at the municipal and provincial levels.

“It is the primary duty of the State to respect and ensure compliance with their obligations under international law, including human rights law and humanitarian law, so as to prevent and avoid conditions that might lead to arbitrary internal displacement of persons,” she said.

The 33 members of Team Basilan, coming from different sectors were given orientation on some facts and figures on IDPs, the legal basis for the guiding principles on internal displacement, as well as the prevention, protection of IDPs and solutions to internal displacements.

Escalante pointed out that displacement triggers human trafficking and all other human rights violations as displaced peoples are most vulnerable at this stage and that this is the moment where government should make their presence visible not only for humanitarian reasons but because governments are duty bound to protect its citizens from injustices, harm, and human rights violations.

Based on UNHCR Global Trends, at the end of 2013 some 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced due to conflict. Of these, 8.2 million are newly displaced (2012). Global trends for forced displacement indicated that one person every 4.1 seconds is forcibly displaced, i.e. some 32,200 individuals per day.

In the Philippines a number of forced displacements for sixty days have occurred in 2013 alone. Close to Basilan and Zamboanga are the incidents of Zamboanga siege last September 9-27 where 137,748 people were affected and 120,303 displaced. The Basilan armed conflict from September 12-16 has affected some 50,561 people and 19,998 displaced.

These, and other natural calamities that have also displaced people in Basilan, has placed the province in the map of among those areas with relatively high incidence of displaced people.

Escalante said that in order for governments to help and protect displaced people, an efficient information management system must be put in place to indicate as quickly as possible who they are, where they are, and how they are doing.

On the second day of the training, Corazon C. Lagamayo, UNHCR Senior Information Management Associate introduced Team Basilan on the development of an information management (IM) system that will document displaced persons.

She said that the IM system could facilitate decision-making, help in coordination of humanitarian and rehabilitation efforts, and improve disaster response to “ensure the full and equal respect for the rights of all individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnic, social, religious or other background.” — FPG/RVC/PIA9-ZBST