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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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8. Displacement and Reintegration in Aceh, Indonesia (Shane Joshua Barter)

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8. Displacement and Reintegration in Aceh, Indonesia

Shane Joshua Barter

Soka University of America

In 2005, the province of Aceh was at a crossroads as it embarked on a massive recovery effort. In August, a peace agreement brokered an end to a decades-long separatist conflict that had claimed the lives of approximately 15,000 people. Meanwhile, rebuilding efforts continued in the wake of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami, which had claimed the lives of over 150,000 people. As these man-made and natural disasters were overcome, Aceh’s villages braced for major changes. Former rebels would soon leave the hills and return home, and people displaced by the conflict and the tsunami would also be returning, including ethnic minorities displaced by rebel forces and ethnic Acehnese displaced by the natural disaster. Managing this movement of people and reintegrating them into village life would be crucial not only to avoid violence and conflict recurrence, but also for future development and individual well-being.

Rebuilding, resettlement, and reintegration efforts were assisted by an outpouring of foreign assistance. However, as this chapter shows, foreign assistance focused almost entirely on disaster IDPs, with little aid left for conflict IDPs. Partly due to pressure from Indonesian authorities, foreign assistance was provided to the less politically-charged victims of natural disasters, sidelining conflict victims. The resources that were available for conflict victims were handled in part by the former rebels turned provincial government, which concentrated aid among ethnic...

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