Are Sri Lankan IDP camps illegal?

Hans van de Weerd, General Director of Doctors without Borders (MSF) Holland has returned from a visit to Sri Lanka. In an interview published on the MSF website, Hans explains the legality of the Sri Lankan camps for the Internally displaced Persons (IDP).

Apparently people in the camps are not free to leave. Why does MSF work there?

"MSF is working for the people in the camps, where freedom of movement is severely restricted, according to the government because of the concern about the presence of former fighters among the civilians. There are provisions under international law for such restrictions in states of emergency, which the Sri Lankan parliament has declared, but they are meant to be of limited duration. Of course MSF is deeply concerned that the longer these conditions exist, the more difficult life becomes for those who are living in the camps, particularly as they have experienced extremely traumatic events and many are still not sure where their families are or what has happened to them. To date, there has been no clear, systematic release of anyone from the camps, with the exception of children under 10 and adults over 60 who have relatives outside the camps.

Tags: , , , , , ,