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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book. The concept of the 'responsibility to protect' was recently invoked in the landmark African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Africa. The significance of responsibility to protect (R2P) for refugees and IDPs is that these are often the persons at most risk from genocide and mass atrocities. In 2009, there were two important advances made in the promotion of the R2P principle from 'words into deeds'. The book has sought contributions from some of the foremost scholars of refugee and IDP studies to engage with the conceptual and practical difficulties entailed in realising how the R2P can be fulfilled by states and the international community to protect vulnerable persons.

Keywords: Ban Ki-moon; internally displaced persons (IDPs); refugees; responsibility to protect (R2P)



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