3 May 2011

Pacific leaders to find solutions to help internally displaced people

8:32 am on 3 May 2011

United Nations officials, government representatives and members of civil society from across the Pacific are meeting to discuss the challenges of protecting internally displaced people within the region.

The conference and workshop is being held in Suva from today to discuss ways to ensure the welfare of people displaced by human rights violations, natural disaster or climate change.

The co-director of the Brookings - London School of Economics project on internal displacement, Elizabeth Ferris, says she hopes delegates can come up with solutions to the problems being faced.

"I think some of the greatest challenges are finding long term solutions. People can be housed in with family or friends in another part of the country or in temporary shelters for a time. But eventually they need to be able to get to go home. And that usually means assistance with reconstruction, protection from further disasters or they need to be able to settle or stay where they are."

Elizabeth Ferris says delegates include representatives from Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands.