This working paper explores the governance of protracted displacement across global, regional and domestic levels in the context of the project “Transnational Figurations of Displacement” (TRAFIG). The multiple contemporary crises that have led to forced displacement show not only the limits of a tight definition of ‘refugee’, but also highlight the gaps in international protection frameworks. A significant number of those forcibly displaced are in protracted displacement situations.
This paper is an effort to make sense of the legislative and policy frameworks of protection that apply globally, regionally and domestically, and the way in which these frameworks facilitate or hinder solutions for people in protracted displacement. We evaluate how these frameworks contribute (directly or indirectly) to resolving or creating protracted displacement, assess how they contribute to relevant policy developments and identify engagement trends and (unintended) effects. Along the way, we also draw comparative insights across different global, regional and domestic levels, including eight different countries that host large groups of displaced people and are the focus of the TRAFIG project: Greece, Germany and Italy in Europe; Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania in Africa; and Jordan and Pakistan in Asia.
We explore some selected gaps in the current systems of governance of displacement, while concentrating on three key perspectives: governing protection, exercising rights and accessing services, and mobility and transnational dimensions of displacement. We conclude with ten key messages regarding the shortcomings of the current governance system of displacement. They highlight the need for stronger stakeholder collaboration, integration of global and local policies, enhanced focus on IDPs, investment in progressive regional policies, redesign of EU policies to avoid promotion of protracted displacement, greater ownership of processes and resources, de-politicisation of displacement policies, alignment of durable solutions with development-oriented interventions, realisation of the development potential of refugee integration. They also focus on mobility and translocal connectivity as a fourth durable solution to protracted displacement.