As we observe World Refugee Day, the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) honors the strength and courage of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi City who have been internally displaced for more than six years since 2017, and continue to endure the profound pain of the siege that resulted to unnecessary loss of innocent lives, displacement of thousands of families and virtually reduced much of their once beautiful and peaceful Marawi City to rubble.
Today, we reiterate our calls for justice, human rights protection and peace towards the full realization of an IDP-centered safe and dignified return of all IDPs back to their homes in Ground Zero. Marawi City.
As of 21 March 2022, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reveals that approximately 80,300 people (16,070 families) remain displaced since May 2017. Around 70% of the internally displaced population are in home-based settings while the rest are in transitory sites or temporary shelter communities.
As this year’s theme for World Refugee Day is “Hope away from home. A world where refugees are always included,” we reaffirm our solidarity and commitment to sustain our advocacy for “KAMBALINGAN” – to fully realize voluntary, safe and dignified return of the IDPs back to Marawi.
We also call upon the public and our partners in civil society, media, and academe to stand together in stronger solidarity to bring forward the critical need to address the growing inequalities and challenges being confronted by the IDPs. Until today, hundreds of Marawi IDPs remain in temporary shelter communities. Along with providing just compensation for the displaced residents of Marawi, we urge the government to provide equal attention to ensure the safety and delivery of the peculiar needs of the IDPs.
We strongly urge both the local and national governments to respond to their urgent and emerging needs and take action on the challenges faced by the IDPs such as land conflict and dispossession, militarization, human rights violations, and just compensation.
Also, we believe that the issue of Marawi siege is a transitional justice issue and policy measures must deliberately respond to the justice claims of the IDPs by addressing the bakwits’ most pressing needs, redress for the victims and their families, and by supporting their advocacy for durable solutions.
As we reaffirm our commitment to sustain our advocacy for the safe and dignified return of the IDPs, we hope that this year’s observance of World Refugee Day will reignite a stronger people-to-people solidarity to help Marawi get back on its feet. Kambalingan! ###
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