IRRI was founded in 2004 to inform and improve responses to the cycles of violence and displacement that are at the heart of large-scale human rights violations.
Over the last 12 years, we have developed a holistic approach to the protection of human rights before, during, and in the aftermath of displacement, by focusing on:
- identifying the violations that cause displacement and exile;
- protecting the rights of those who are displaced, and
- ensuring the solutions to their displacement are durable, rights respecting, safe and timely.
We work to ensure the voices of the displaced and conflict affected communities are not only heard but heeded at the international level through our evidence based advocacy that is built on solid field based research and analysis.
We are registered as a non-profit organisation in the US, the UK and Uganda with a board of five (with recruitment currently in progress for additional members) headed up by our Nigeria-based Chair, Chidi Odinkalu, and our Uganda-based Vice-Chair, Salima Namusobya, with the other board members based in the UK, US and Tanzania.
Mission and Theory of Change
IRRI works to address causes of conflict-related displacement; to ensure that the rights of those forced to leave their homes are respected; and to promote appropriate and sustainable solutions to their displacement.
Displacement is a symptom and a cause of conflict and disenfranchisement; and failures to resolve displacement are a highly complex and multi-faceted and - if not managed correctly – a potential cause for future displacement.
Not only have the displaced been forced to leave their homes due to conflict , unrest or persecution, they can be vulnerable to abuse – both during their journey and when they arrive at a place of “safety”. Often responses to their arrival assume that they will be a burden, they are forced to live in unacceptable conditions, isolated and marginalised for long periods of time and with little genuine effort to offer real solutions.
IRRI recognises that just as the causes of displacement are multiple, so are the consequences. Therefore, IRRI does not set out to have a “one size fits all” approach, but instead takes a context-specific model that is both comprehensive and cognisant of the commonalties in the way that issues of displacement are treated at governmental and multilateral levels. Taking this comprehensive approach and recognising the how these issues are interconnected, allows IRRI to formulate more nuanced and effective strategies of response.
Through an integrated framework of regional research, international advocacy and the amplification of local voices, our expertise in protecting human rights in situations of ongoing conflict and displacement in rights protection, mass atrocity and conflict prevention, peace-building and reconciliation enables IRRI to be uniquely effective and have a tangible impact on those whose lives and livelihoods are severely threatened.