Considering that most of my posts are about travel and exotic locales it may be shocking to hear that I actually do have a job. Many of you may have wondered about what it is I actually do and what type of work a development/human rights/conflict resolution worker actually does. To shed a little light into my work life, and to help educate on some of the most pressing matters facing Sri Lanka, I am posting two recent publications that I wrote.
The first publication was released through my former employer, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE). It deals with the High Security Zones in Sri Lanka and how they have been used to deny citizens their human rights to adequate housing, and return to their former homes and lands after displacement.
The second publication was written in my private capacity and published in the Forced Migration Review. It offers policy guidelines for the return of more than 280,000 internally displaced persons in Northern Sri Lanka. The article also highlights lessons learned from previous displacement and return events including the 2001 tsunami and the 2007 government pacification of Eastern Sri Lanka.
The full issue can be accessed here: Protracted displacement
Research and publication are just two of the many tools that development and human rights specialists use to help make an impact. It is often difficult for small agencies to get a seat at the table when key decisions are made. As most decisions are political in nature it is important to have as much information publicly available as possible. While nothing is guaranteed, reports and information help ensure that policy makers cannot just turn a blind eye and pretend serious issues do not exist.