Displaced person

From Academic Kids

A displaced person (sometimes abbreviated DP) is the general term for someone who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration. The term first gained widespread usage during World War II and the resulting refugee outflows from Eastern Europe, when it was used to specifically refer to one removed from his or her native country as a refugee, prisoner or a slave laborer. The meaning has significantly broadened in the past half-century. A displaced person may also be referred to as a "forced migrant". The term "refugee" is also commonly used as a synonym for displaced person, causing confusion between the general descriptive class of anyone who has left their home and the subgroup of legally defined refugees who enjoy specified international legal protection.

If the displaced person has crossed an international border and falls under one of the relevant international legal instruments, they are considered a refugee. A forced migrant who left his or her home because of political persecution or violence, but did not cross an international border, is commonly considered to be the less well-defined category of internally displaced person (IDP), and is subject to more tenuous international protection. The forced displacement of a number of refugees or internally displaced persons according to a identifiable policy is an example of population transfer. A displaced person who crosses an international border without permission from the country they are entering is often called an illegal immigrant. The most visible recent case of this is the large number of North Koreans who have settled in the border region of China.

A migrant who fled because of economic hardship is an economic migrant. A special sub-set of this is development-induced displacement, in which the forced migrant was forced out their home because of economically-driven projects like that of the Three Gorges Dam in China and various Indian dams. There is a body of opinion that holds that persons subject to development-induced displacement should have greater legal protection than that granted to normal economic migrants.

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