The Final Word on The Correct Name for Those Displaced by That Bitch Katrina

September 22, 2005 at 11:59pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

From the American Society of International Law:


Victims of hurricane Katrina are internally displaced persons, not refugees

In widely circulated media reports in the days following the disaster of hurricane Katrina, victims of the hurricane were labeled “refugees.” Other reports had victims rejecting such classifications and insisting on their status as American citizens. As a matter of international law, it is clear that persons who were forced to flee the hurricane and the subsequent disasters on the Gulf coast are not refugees. Rather, the international community refers to such persons as internally displaced. A particular set of international standards applies to them.

Refugees are persons who flee abroad because their own government denies them human rights protection either by persecuting them actively or by not helping them against dangers emanating from third parties.  International law protects such persons by means of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and regional instruments such as the 1969 Refugee Convention of the Organization of the American States (OAS) and the 1984 Cartagena Declaration.

The victims of hurricane Katrina who had to flee their homes have neither left the United States nor lost any of their human rights vis-à-vis the U.S. government. However, they have left their homes involuntarily and thus are internally displaced persons within the meaning of the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.  The Guiding Principles describe such persons as “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not cros

sed an internationally recognized State [international] border” (preamble, paragraph 2).

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Steve September 23, 2005 at 5:57am

Word!  The “refugee” label has bugged me, and many others, since the whole disaster began.  I’ve heard so-called refugees exclaim “I’m an American citizen, not a refugee” in the non-MSM but those kinds of pronouncements, despite Shepard Smith (where is he anyway?) didn’t make the cut.

Abe of Lincoln September 30, 2005 at 6:21am

This is much better. Now we can call them IDPs. You can’t make a good TLA with “refugees” anyway.

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