The past fifteen years have been difficult years of conflict, post-conflict instability, strife and change for the peoples of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Already challenged with new political, social and economic realities, the State Union and Republics’ governments have also had to assist the hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs who have sought refuge within its borders. The country has hosted more than a quarter of a million IDPs since 1999. There is no immediate end in sight because of continuing instability in the region, as illustrated by the recent violence triggered by events in Kosovo on 17 March 2004.
Across society, IDPs are not the only vulnerable group. Thus policy and institutional responses to the plight of IDPs will often be part of broader strategies, such as with Serbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. However, IDPs remain citizens of Serbia and Montenegro with all of the rights and duties that attach to citizenship.
Unfortunately, these citizens are not always being treated equally, contrary to the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montengro, the constitutions of each Republic and international laws.
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