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Internal Migration

Challenges in Governance and Integration

Edited By Shane Joshua Barter and William Ascher

Internal Migration: Challenges in Governance and Integration focuses on the challenges associated with internal migration across the developing world. While international migration captures significant attention, less attention has been paid to those migrating within recognized national borders. The sources of internal migration are not fundamentally different from international migration, as migrants may be pushed by violence, disasters, state policies, or various opportunities. Although they do not cross international borders, they may still cross significant internal borders, with cultural differences and perceived state favoritism generating a potential for "sons of the soil" conflicts. As citizens, internal migrants are in theory to be provided legal protection by host states, however this is not always the case, and sometimes their own states represent the cause of their displacement. The chapters in this book explain how international organizations, host states, and host communities may navigate the many challenges associated with internal migration.

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3. How IDPs Navigate the Resettlement Process in Bogotá, Colombia (Juan Esteban Zea)


3. How IDPs Navigate the Resettlement Process in Bogotá, Colombia

Juan Esteban Zea

Gwangju University

Since the 1980s, more than 7.6 million people have been internally displaced in Colombia (UNHCR 2018, 72). Though there are various causes, violent events are the primary source of this displacement. Clashes between the government and paramilitary groups against guerrillas—though congress has recently passed a peace agreement on November 30, 2016—as well outside interests that hire paramilitary forces, fuel the violent events that internally displaced persons (IDPs) experience. Most IDPs in Colombia come from the rural areas of the country, and many find their way to urban areas to seek help from government offices established to assist them. In Bogotá, there are six such offices known as UAO (Unidad de Atención y Orientación para la población en situación de desplazamiento, the Agency of Attention and Orientation for the displaced population).

In this chapter, I discuss the situation faced by IDPs in Colombia. From the reasons behind their displacement to the resettlement process, most IDPs relocate to the city of Bogotá. IDPs face hardships upon arriving in Bogotá as they attempt to prove their displacement to not only government officials, but also to a skeptical public. IDPs face discrimination through “othering” practices from citizens in Bogotá who might see them as untrustworthy or present in the city to take jobs, spots in schools, or taxpayer money. I discuss how IDPs...

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