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Thematic reports

A/HRC/50/24: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons on the right of internally displaced persons to participate in electoral processes


28 June 2022

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Internally displaced persons

In this report, presented at the Human Rights Council’s 50th session in 2022, the Special Rapporteur examines the participation of internally displaced persons in electoral processes, in particular their ability to exercise their right to vote and to stand in elections on equal terms with the non-displaced population.

She describes the challenges internally displaced persons often encounter on account of their displacement, which may relate, for instance, to residency requirements for determining the place of voting and constituency, lack of documentation, lack of access to information, obstacles to accessing registration sites and polling stations, among other issues. She highlights that different groups of internally displaced persons may encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination to participate in elections.

The Special Rapporteur underscores that States have the primary duty to protect the rights of internally displaced persons, including their right to vote and be elected, and to ensure they can exercise this right without discrimination despite their displacement. Moreover, she maintains that the realization of their electoral rights is key for achieving durable solutions to internal displacement, and that it also promotes democratic governance, the rule of law and economic development, and strengthens the representativeness and legitimacy of governments.

The Special Rapporteur looks at special measures that may be adopted in electoral processes to enable the participation of internally displaced persons, provides examples of good practices, and makes a series of recommendations to States and other actors.

Consultations and inputs received

In the preparation for the present report, the Special Rapporteur issued a call for inputs from Member States and other stakeholders, requesting their views on the challenges faced by internally displaced persons to participate in elections, the measures undertaken to support their enfranchisement and the impact of electoral participation on prospects for durable solutions. The Special Rapporteur received over 30 submissions and sincerely thanks all Member States, international organizations, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and other stakeholders for their inputs. She also thanks all stakeholders who engaged in consultations on the present report, including the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, OHCHR, UNHCR, the Global Protection Cluster and field protection clusters.

Issued By:

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons

Delivered To:

Human Rights Council at its 50th session, June 2022