In This Review
Protecting the Dispossessed: A Challenge for the International Community

Protecting the Dispossessed: A Challenge for the International Community

By Francis M. Deng

The Brookings Institution, 1993, 175 pp.

This book, written by a former Sudanese diplomat and U.N. human rights officer, reflects once again the broad shift away from traditional notions of exclusive state sovereignty by the post-Cold War international community. It takes up the often overlooked problem of internally displaced persons (as opposed to international refugees) as a separate category of human rights problem demanding specific solutions. Noting the gaps in existing international human rights law concerning dispossessed persons, the author outlines an ambitious strategy by which the international community can not only deal with such problems once they arise, but act to prevent them. Like others who do not shy away on principle from proposals for multilateral intervention in such cases, the author leaves unanswered the difficult questions of practicality and will.