Protection and Displacement as understood and lived by young people in urban settings in Colombia

Veronike Talviste//Geography//4th of February 2015//3-4pm//Arts C133


Protection is a powerful term in the world of humanitarians working to help those displaced by violence, defining many approaches and activities that are currently carried out worldwide in emergencies and post-conflict situations. However, little is known about how this concept is understood by those whom it concerns the most – the affected persons. Similarly, while practitioners and forced migration scholars have been examining refugees’ and increasingly also internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) lives in more crisis and/or camp settings, much less work has been conducted with IDPs living in urban areas and in protracted displacement situations. The perspectives of second generation of IDPs have been even less explored.

The talk aims at contributing to filling these gaps by demonstrating, first, some existing terms and knowledge on protection and displacement. It then proceeds to discuss the preliminary findings of the interviews recorded with young people in Colombia, living in ‘IDP neighbourhood’ in Cartagena. For instance, their views on such protection-related issues as violence committed by gangs and adolescents’ participation in it, as well as becoming involved in sex work when being a minor are shared.


Veronika Talviste is currently a Junior Visiting Fellow at the Global Migration Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a Ph.D candidate in Migration Studies at the University of Sussex. She holds a Masters in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford and previously worked several years with the ICRC in the field, and as Protection Adviser in the Headquarters.

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