Indra - Chapter 15
The situation facing refugees and other
forced migrants is one of the most serious of this century of
displacement. Today, we speak of 20 to 23 million refugees and of 24 to
25 million internally displaced persons. It is well known that women
and children now represent 80 to 90 percent of these numbers ( Jack
1996: 11). Few, however, appreciate that the majority of these migrant
women and children are Muslim. Not only are the human rights of most of
these female Muslim refugees not guaranteed, the very violation of
their rights has become a well-institutionalized dimension of war. All
four main terms in the title of this chapter ("human rights,"
"refugees," "women," and "Muslim") have something in common: their
conceptual ambiguity and inconsistent usage. This can lead to much
practical confusion and to inadequate legal and physical protection for
members of this large population. It is important to reflect on this
association of terms and to analyze each one individually.