Practice Relating to Rule 129. The Act of Displacement
Section A. Forced displacement
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Grave breaches of international humanitarian law are in particular: … deportation, illegal transfer or confinement of protected civilians”.
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or non-international armed conflict,
deports or forcibly transfers, by expulsion or other coercive acts, a person who is to be protected under international humanitarian law and lawfully present in an area to another State or another area in contravention of a general rule of international law.
In 1987, all political parties in the German Parliament agreed that the deportations carried out during the conflict in Afghanistan constituted serious violations of human rights.
In 1993, the German Chancellor stated that displacement was deeply inhumane.
In 2005, in its Seventh Human Rights Policy Report submitted to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), Germany’s Federal Government stated:
With the 1998 guidelines on the handling of crises related to internally displaced persons (“Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement”) by the then Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Francis Deng, the international community has a practice-oriented document, which summarizes existing standards on the protection of internally displaced persons and gives further recommendations. Although these guiding principles are not a binding instrument under international law, their acceptance by States, international organizations and NGOs has continued to grow over the past years, so that now they are virtually regarded as customary international law.