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2005 - Francis Deng and Roberta Cohen

Guidelines for a protection and aid system for internally displaced people, or people who are displaced within their home nations

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Scholars at Johns Hopkins University and The Brookings Institution who developed a plan to help internally displaced people are co-winners of the prestigious 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

Sharing the award are Francis Deng, a research professor at Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and former special representative of the United Nations secretary-general, and Roberta Cohen, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution who specializes in humanitarian and human rights issues.

Cohen and Deng developed guidelines for a protection and aid system for internally displaced people, or people who are displaced within their home nations. Their ideas have helped shape an ongoing effort to assist victims of the Darfur crisis in western Sudan , judges said.

An estimated 25 million people in 40 countries have been forced to leave their homes in recent years by civil war, ethnic strife and human rights violations. Although the U.N. provides food, medicine and shelter to refugees who cross national borders, people who are uprooted in their own countries rarely receive such assistance.

Deng and Cohen described their ideas in a series of articles, lectures and statements between 1999 and 2003 that followed publication of their two 1998 books, “Masses in Flight: The Global Crisis of Internal Displacement” and “The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced.” The pair, winners of the 15th Grawemeyer world order prize, were selected from among 37 nominations from 10 countries.

About the Winners

Francis Deng

Francis Deng, a native of Sudan , is considered a leading expert on internal displacement, human rights and conflict management and resolution in Africa .

From 1992 until mid-2004, he was a special representative of the United Nations secretary-general on internally displaced people. He is a research professor at Johns Hopkins University ’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he co-directs a project with The Brookings Institution on internal displacement.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Deng was a distinguished professor and senior fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Affairs Graduate Center at City University of New York. A former Sudanese ambassador to the United States , Scandinavia and Canada , he also served as minister of state for foreign affairs of the Sudan and human rights officer for the U.N. Division of Human Rights.

He earned a doctorate in law (1968) and a master’s degree in law (1965) from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree in law from Khartoum University (1962).

Deng has been a guest scholar and senior research associate for the Woodrow Wilson

Center , a distinguished fellow of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and a Jennings Randolph Distinguished Fellow of the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has written or co-written more than a dozen books and articles, including “Protecting the Dispossessed” and “Exodus within Borders.” With Roberta Cohen, he wrote “Masses in Flight: The Global Crisis of Internal Displacement” and edited “The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced.”

Roberta Cohen

Roberta Cohen has had a long and distinguished career in the field of human rights.

Now working as principal adviser to the representative of the U.N. secretary-general on the human rights of the internally displaced, she is a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at The Brookings Institution and co-directs the Institution’s project on internal displacement.

Cohen, a former consultant to the World Bank and U.N. high commissioner for refugees, also was senior adviser to the National Academy of Sciences and Refugee Policy Group. During the Carter administration, she was deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights and senior adviser on the U.S. delegation to the U.N. General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights. Previously, she was executive director of the International League for Human Rights in New York and honorary secretary of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group in London .

She served on the U.S. delegations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2003 and to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 1998.

Cohen, who earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University ’s School of Advanced International Studies (1963) and a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College (1960), has published a wealth of articles on a variety of human rights and humanitarian issues, including internal displacement in Iraq and humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan.

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