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Jorge Salcedo: Las dimensiones conceptuales del derecho al retorno de las víctimas del desplazamiento y el refugio en el contexto colombiano

Frente a la inacabada tragedia colombiana del desplazamiento interno y el refugio que ya suma alrededor de 5.700.000 víctimas, existe un relativo consenso sobre el retorno como el escenario ideal para lograr la superación de la situación del desplazamiento y refugio de las víctimas. Éste aparente consenso esconde una diversidad de concepciones sobre lo que significa el retorno en general, y el derecho al retorno en particular, en ocasiones contrapuestas entre si, en un contexto donde el retorno de las victimas habría sido mínimo.


La ponencia trata sobre algunas dimensiones conceptuales del derecho al retorno relevantes para el caso colombiano y sus relaciones, en especial las siguientes:
- Las derivadas del derecho público interno e internacional, incluida la relación entre retorno y reparación, restitución de bienes, restablecimiento, soluciones duraderas;
- Los estudios migratorios que plantean la discusión sobre el lugar de origen al que se retorna y los factores push-pull que lo motivan. Incluye los casos de retornos como formas de migración forzada al darse en ausencia de voluntariedad por la mala calidad de vida en recepción o en situaciones de confinamiento producto de fenómenos cercanos a la trata de personas cuando el regreso es producto de la presión de actores armados y sus redes de poder, entre otros;
- Aproximaciones políticas que conciben el retorno como formas de resistencia civil medio de violencias sociopolíticas inacabadas y ausencia de reparación integral.
La discusión sobre el derecho al retorno se acompaña de ejemplos del caso colombiano que ilustran posibles contenidos conceptuales y políticos que el mismo adquiere.


  1. María Angélica Prada: La restitución de tierras en Colombia: entre los derechos y el modelo de desarrollo.

Al igual que otros países en el mundo que se han embarcado en procesos de transición, Colombia se caracteriza por ser un país en desarrollo con altos niveles de desigualdad. Es por eso que en actualmente coexisten en el país dos tipos de políticas que si bien son complementarias han sido, comúnmente, abordados de manera independiente: i) las políticas de justicia transicional; y ii) las políticas de desarrollo económico. El divorcio entre estas dos disciplinas ha tenido como consecuencia la exclusión de demandas de justicia social y redistributiva de los mecanismos de justicia transicional, los cuales históricamente se han enfocado en resarcir las violaciones de los derechos civiles y políticos. Esta exclusión no es algo inesperado sino que es la consecuencia lógica de los orígenes ideológicos y políticos de la justicia transicional.


A pesar de esto, algunos académicos colombianos han argumentado a favor de integrar en las políticas de justicia transicional consideraciones de justicia redistributiva, ya que reconocen que las causas del conflicto son la inequitativa repartición de los recursos y la concentración de la tierra. La principal expresión de esta propuesta en el país ha sido la idea de las “reparaciones transformadoras”, articulada por Rodrigo Uprimny, María Paula Saffon y Camilo Sánchez. Esta noción transformadora de las reparaciones fue integrada en la Ley de Víctimas en su definición de la reparación integral, al establecer que las “víctimas tienen derecho a ser reparadas de manera adecuada, diferenciada, transformadora y efectiva por el daño que han sufrido”.
Sin embargo, como tradicionalmente ha ocurrido en Colombia el proceso de justicia transicional ha recurrido a la reforma constitucional y legal como el principal mecanismo de transformación de la sociedad. Este artículo tiene como principal objetivo presentar una crítica a la fe en el poder transformador del derecho, demostrando que por sí mismas las reparaciones, más específicamente el proceso de restitución de tierras que se lleva a cabo en Colombia, sólo puede tener un efecto transformador limitado a menos de que sea entendida dentro de un marco legal más complejo, cuya capacidad de cambio se encuentra limitadas por el modelo de desarrollo económico que está siendo promovido en el país, las diferentes normas de fondo que afectan el proceso de restitución – como la concepción del derecho de propiedad, las políticas de redistribución de la misma y las políticas fiscales -, y los diferentes actores e instituciones que hacen parte del proceso .


  1. Felipe Arias: La protección y salvaguarda del desplazado en contextos de construcción de paz: ¿un debate potencialmente excluyente?

El desplazamiento se origina por causas económicas, culturales, sociales, ambientales, conflictos internos, proyectos económicos, entre otros, que genera movientos colectivos continuos o escalonados de personas que abandonan sus lugares de origen. Si bien el desplazamiento puede ser definido bajo conceptos transversales que permean cada una dichas causas, es pertinente destacar las distintas afectaciones de derechos fundamentales producidas según el fenómeno que lo haya originado. En contextos de producción de paz originado por conflictos armados prolongados, como lo es el contexto colombiano, el debate sobre la reparación a las comunidades desplazadas no puede reducirse a una sola causa que lo haya originado: la violencia. En efecto, en los procesos para erradicar el conflicto de una sociedad es posible soslayar las causas reales que originaron el desplazamiento de personas, y generando dos efectos: por un lado, incluir a todos los desplazados como víctimas del conflicto armado o, por otro lado, excluir a varias comunidades desplazadas por no considerarlas víctimas del mismo.


En este sentido, el artículo explorará las dinámicas internas del Estado colombiano para reparar integralmente a las víctimas del desplazamiento, cualquier que sea su causa, y cómo este concepto muta a medida que avanza el proceso de cosntrucción de paz. Para ello, en primer lugar se analizará la posición institucional y el marco jurídico frente al desplazamiento interno, para así indagar si existe mecanismos particulares que permitan al Estado proteger y salvaguar los derechos del desplazado según los derechos fundamentales particularmente afectados; y en segundo lugar, establecer las directrices de una agenta gubernamental para la atención a las comunidades desplazadas en el caso de establecer acuerdos de paz, parciales o definitivos.


  1. Juan David Villa: Consecuencias psicosociales de la Participación en Escenarios de Justicia Transicional en un Contexto de Conflicto, Impunidad y No-transición

La ponencia que se propone recoge las voces de víctimas de violencia política y desplazamiento forzado en tres escenarios geográficos y sociopolíticos: el Oriente Antioqueño, el sur de Córdoba y la ciudad de Medellín (Madres de la Candelaria). Este trabajo investigativo se desarrolló a través del método autobiográfico con 62 relatos de vida recogidos en entrevistas en profundidad y complementados con 19 grupos de discusión desarrollados donde los y las participantes expresaron sus significaciones y experiencias en torno a su participación en escenarios de reparación, verdad y justicia propiciados por el Estado Colombiano (hasta junio de 2012) en el marco de las normas de transición (ley 975 de 2005, Justicia y paz; decreto 1290 de 2008, de reparación administrativa; y ley 1448 de 2011, ley de víctimas) que se han aplicado en un contexto donde no ha finalizado el conflicto armado y se mantienen altos índices de impunidad y coerción de la población civil. Se discuten, a partir de los testimonios y relatos, las consecuencias psicosociales que se generan en las personas y en los colectivos cuando acuden a estos mecanismos propiciados por las normas colombianas. Abordando tanto los efectos de transformación y reparación, como aquellos que producen revictimización. Se concluye con una propuesta de justicia anamnética, que posibilite escenarios que respeten los derechos de las víctimas y desplazados sin que esto implique revictimización ni obstáculos al logro de la paz.


Panel 28

Not just victims: Forced migrants resistance strategies


  1. Julieta Lemaitre: Shifting Frames, Vanishing Resources, and Dangerous Political Opportunities: Legal Mobilization among Displaced Women in Colombia

Although Colombia is a long-standing constitutional democracy with a strong administrative state and a steadily growing economy, the country remains submerged in a fifty-year-old conflict that has led to massive population displacement associated with gender-specific risks. Although there is extensive literature on women's vulnerability in conflict, there is little understanding of how they organize. How can we make sense of the use of legal claims and tactics under conditions of internal displacement and armed conflict? To answer this question, the article presents a theory of legal mobilization that takes insecurity into account by adapting concepts commonly used to explain collective action: frames, resources, and political opportunities. Relying on examples from extensive field research with displaced women's organizations in Colombia, the article expands on existing theory.




  1. Rumana Hashem: Resistance to forced displacement in Phulbari: a southern model for tackling forced/ environmental migration

This paper draws on a case study of Bangladesh. It presents a discursive analysis to the seven-year tremendous resistance to a large-scale development project, namely the Phulbari Coal Project, which would establish one of the largest open pit coalmines in the world and would forcefully displace up to 220,000 people including 20,000 indigenous families from their homelands in Northwest Bangladesh. I discuss how a humanitarian program, called `Phulbari Resistance’, is successfully operating to halt the project. I demonstrate how development induced forced displacement was resisted and how transnational activists formed alliance as a means to resist trajectories of displacement in Bangladesh.By way of illustration, I refute mainstream approaches to humanitarianism and I suggest a working definition of humanitarianism which includes political activism.


The paper suggests that even if state fails to ensure human security, individuals and human rights groups can play important role to tackle forced migration prior to conflict. I argue that the halt of the Phulbari Coal Project was made possible by the wide campaign at local, national and transnational level, and by active participation of a diverse group of activists and human rights advocates belonging to different geographical locations that ranges from the South to the North. Findings of the paper are based on case study analysis and primary data collated through my activism in the field. My involvement in the campaign against forced displacement in Phulbari and for the halt of the project have informed the analysis.


  1. Amrita Lamba: At the Crossroads: Forest Laws, Livelihood Rights and Indigenous Sovereignty in India.

This paper argues that empowering people by transforming governance institutions to make them more inclusive could help respond to the social challenges (social disarticulation and loss of a sense of self due to development-induced-displacement, for example) of environmental change. In particular the paper will explore the sustainability of an institutional architecture that is undergirded on the principle of viewing people not as subjects or beneficiaries but as citizens with rights and responsibilities. I use the State-Society Synergy approach that is predicated on building norms of trust and networks of civic engagement between the state and the community for more effective governance. Based on a field visit, I examine the vulnerability of the indigenous people – the Soliga tribes in the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka, India, whose heavy dependence on the forest ecosystem as a source of livelihood tends to be disproportionately affected by climate change. The Soligas have been involuntarily displaced from the wildlife sanctuary as a consequence of new forest laws which have changed the status of the natural evergreen forests to a ‘reserved forest area’ thereby eroding the age-old concept of sustainability which is integral to their worldview. The paper examines how governance intervention which is based on synergistic ties between the forest department and the Soligas has helped ameliorate the lot of the latter. For instance, what began as a health service delivery programme by the forest department extended to participation by the Soligas in mapping forest resource uses that is considered critical for environmental sustainability.




  1. Julie Young, Adrienne Wiebe, Miriam Harder and Luann Good Gingrich: The “choice” of necessity: Central American migrant women negotiating the southern border of Mexico.

While population displacement in Central America was previously the result of state-related armed conflicts, today an unprecedented level of undocumented migration is generated by exclusionary economic development models and escalating organized crime in the region. Drawing from a community-based pilot project with Central American migrant women involved in the sex trade in southern Mexico, we examine women’s migration decisions and livelihood strategies in the context of current US, Mexican, and Central American policies and practices. In-depth interviews provide insight into how these women negotiate the various borders and structured environments that surround them as they attempt to care for themselves and their (often transnational) families. Undocumented migrant movements and work are analyzed to be gendered and multiscalar – performed in ordinary and extraordinary individual efforts to make a living, and within a framework of official state-led practices that keep border spaces both highly controlled and capriciously porous. We consider the relationships and intersections between these scales: the micro-perspective focusing on questions of “choice” in the lives of these women and the systemic view that considers dynamics and forces of structural violence (including poverty, environmental destruction, free trade agreements, etc.). The women’s stories highlight the “choice of necessity” that shapes their relationships, living arrangements, employment, and aspirations in constantly changing and paradoxical ways.




  1. Justin Lee: A Strengths-Based Empowerment Approach to Durable Solutions: From the Perspectives of People who are Forced to Migrate

As a social worker, researcher and professor, I am excited and passionate about people who are former refugees and their experience in overcoming incredible hardships. My research focuses not only on survival, but on durable solutions based on the strengths and resilience of former refugees and a widespread desire they seem to have in common to give hope and help to those suffering has they did. My current research also focuses on practice and policy solutions to healthcare access and disparities among refugees and those forced to migrate due to extreme poverty.


Panel 29

Integration as a durable solution


  1. Maria Delussu: The complexity of durable solutions in developing contexts: local integration of refugees in Mexico and the role of state and non-state actors.

This presentation conceptualizes the vulnerability of forced migrants not only as coming from the forced movement but as emerging from and reinforced by the socio-political contexts of origin and destination.

Particularly in developing contexts, where most refugees and asylum seekers are located, international protection provisions are limited by constraints such as lack of resources and access to social services, lack of political interest and institutional capacity, social exclusion and discrimination.
Therefore, in order to achieve durable solutions for forced migrants, it is essential to go beyond the category of international protection and complement it with humanitarian and social policy considerations. In particular, the concept of social protection permits to “ground” international protection and extend its significance to a wide range of non-state, community-based and private actors and to the concept of informal social protection (family and kin, social networks).
After analysing different conceptualisations of protection, the presentation will discuss the local integration of forced migrants in Mexico using a conceptual framework based on the theoretical and practical interaction between international, humanitarian and social protection. This will permit evaluating the impact of international frameworks on domestic protection mechanisms, how political will and institutional capacity challenge the implementation of such obligations and how formal and informal mechanisms of collective action are established in response to the reduced room for manoeuvre left to forced migrants.
Mexico is a signatory of the 1951 Convention and of the Cartagena declaration but, despite significant advance in legislation in the last years, there is still a protection gap that limits the local integration of refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection. The characteristics and causes of forced migration in the area and, in particular, the predominance of transit migration and mixed flows make difficult to identify individuals in need of international protection while the lack of appropriate migration infrastructure in term of legal framework, public policies and provisions for local integration lead to increased vulnerability. This gap is filled by humanitarian actors, migrants’ networks and CSOs but their capacity to offer longer-term and sustainable solutions is debated.

The actual context is marked by extremes of hospitality and xenophobia with the coexistence of a range of different actors, a direct involvement of Mexican civil society and a primary role for migrants’ formal and informal networks. The presentation will analyse the main drivers and the variety of forms of civil society engagement in favour of migrants and refugees from individual solidarity in the case of “las patronas”, to organised support for humanitarian assistance, human rights protection and public policy advocacy.




  1. Jenifer Byrne: Not Like Me: Examining Integration of Liberian Refugees in Ghana

Since 1990, Buduburam Refugee Camp has been host to more than 65,000 refugees. With the UN declaring cessation in 2012, many Liberian refugees that called Buduburam home were faced with tough decisions regarding their future. Aside from repatration back to Liberia, remaining in the host country of Ghana through a local integration program is an option for a durable solution. Local integration is a durable solution that combines three dimensions, a legal process by which refugees attain a range of rights in the host state, an economic process that enables refugees to have sustainable livelihoods and a comparable standard of living to the residents of the host country, and a socio-cultural process that allows them to become politically integrated and live in the host country without fear of discrimination. In this inquiry, I use a grounded theory design to identify what the Liberian refugees expect if they were to locally integrate, as well as perceived challenges and benefits of integration. I discuss these issues from the perspective of the refugees and in the framework of the three dimensions (legal, economic and socio-cultural) of local integration. I explore in detail the sociocultural dimension as many Liberians cite cultural incompatibilities as an obstacle to local integration.




  1. Maria Paula Subia: An exploration on the possibilities for the advancement of labour mobility schemes for refugees in Argentina

The main objective of this research project is to determine if and how labour mobility schemes can be advanced as a strategy to enhance refugee integration, with a focus on Colombian refugees in the City of Buenos Aires. The choice of this population is based on the potential for it benefiting from the MERCOSUR permanent work visas and residence agreements framework. While the geographic focus is based on the fact the Argentinean capital is still where the vast proportion of refugees reside. This paper intends to answer to this question through the examination of applicable laws and regulations in three normative spheres: the regional, the national and the municipal. It will also explore if (and thus how) protection safeguards such as non-refoulement can be incorporated to those schemes.
In this context, “labour mobility schemes” refer to the incorporation of regularized labour migration1 into the “durable solutions framework” in a way that better responds “to the contemporary realities of global mobility, shrinking asylum space in the North and regional state fragility in the South”, and overcomes the traditional assumption that has opposed refugee continued mobility to a successful integration (Long, 2009:1). Regularized labour migration can be contrasted to refugee irregular crossing of borders for livelihood-seeking purposes, which is usually linked to precarious employment, labour exploitation, state hostility and/or even deportation. In Long’s view, this type of schemes can be applicable in regional settings where inter-state agreements “already provide residency rights and access to labour markets in other member states” (2009:8). Even if the notion of regularized labour migration for refugees has been appearing in UNHCR papers since 2006, so far it has not been elaborated for the South American context, but most of the available research has been African-based (see Adepoju et al.,

1 In this paper, I use IOM’s definition of “labour migration” as the “movement of persons from one State to another, or within their own country of residence, for the purpose of employment” (Perruchoud et at., 2011:58). Ms. Paula Subia M.A. Candidate European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR) 2007), Afghan-based (see Monsutti, 2008) and Middle Eastern-based (see Chatelard, 2009).


Therefore, this paper will analyze whether or not labour migration can be considered a “fourth durable solution”, or otherwise be applied so as to have a positive impact on local integration, while serving simultaneously to reduce the need for resettlement. The underlying hypothesis of the paper is that, if the assumed contradiction between labour migration and refugee status is deconstructed, labour mobility can contribute to an increase in refugee agency and enhance their international protection. Moreover, in its Discussion Paper on Refugee protection and durable solutions in the context of international migration, UNHCR argues that it even has the potential to impact positively both on countries of origin and of asylum (2007:12). On the one hand, it can give refugees an opportunity to develop their skills and send remittances to their families and communities of origin, while a decrease in competition for jobs and scarce resources in their country of origin can have a positive impact in the peacebuilding process. On the other hand, refugees who work or start businesses in countries of asylum “may make a valuable contribution to the growth and productivity of both local and national economies.” (UNHCR, 2007:12)
By means of a qualitative methodology, this research project draws from the combination of different methods such as literature review –including the examination of official statistics and normative content analysis–, and semi-structured interviews conducted at a preliminary stage in Geneva and then in the City of Buenos Aires during fieldwork. The interviewees range was composed by the following stakeholders: national and municipal government officials in charge of refugee matters, employees of local non-governmental organizations specialized either in local integration or in resettlement of refugees, programme staff of international organizations working on refugees and migrants issues, and Colombian refugees who had been both recognized sur place or resettled from a first country of asylum such as Ecuador. Ultimately, this paper intends to represent a context and needs assessment for evidence-based policy-making on the issue of refugee integration and the feasibility of advancing labour mobility schemes, which could potentially be helpful for exploring the applicability of this strategy in other South American countries.
Panel 30

Respuestas regionales a la migración forzada




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