More than four million Filipinos in Mindanao have experienced displacement first-hand in the last 20 years due to armed conflict, natural hazards, and persistent poverty. Issues linked to displacement are aggravated by food scarcity and climate change in the predominantly agricultural Bangsamoro region, making legislation in response to internal displacement a priority of the regional government.
The IDP Rights Bill lays down the foundation for programs and policies not only in response to the most urgent needs of IDPs in the region, but also in matters of long-term rehabilitation, reconstruction, and recovery necessary to ensure stability and security for IDPs post-displacement. The Bill also highlights needs that are specific to women and girls who are often among the most vulnerable in incidents of displacement.
The passage of the IDP Rights Bill is expected to encourage and help facilitate the passage of a similar legislation at the national level. Poised to be the first Asia-Pacific country to have legislation safeguarding citizens against arbitrary displacement, the Philippine Congress has long been working on legislation that seeks to protect the rights and welfare of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.