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Legal Empowerment in Development Programs: The case of internally displaced people in Colombia

Vargas Falla, Olga Cristina Ana Maria LU (2010) SIMT33 20101
Master of Science in Development Studies
Graduate School
Department of Sociology of Law
Abstract
With around 3 million affected people, Colombia has the second highest number of internal displaced persons (IDPs) in the world after Sudan (ACNUR 2007). They are basically refugees inside their own country. One of the main problems of IDPs living in the cities is the difficulty to generate income that allows them to satisfy their basic needs. Looking to solve this problem, the government of Colombia implemented a program to support IDPs to start small businesses so that they can provide for themselves. The issue under focus in this research states: what is the role of legal empowerment in the policy of income generation for IDPs in Colombia?
Legal empowerment is a practical concept and depends on its concrete application. For that reason... (More)
With around 3 million affected people, Colombia has the second highest number of internal displaced persons (IDPs) in the world after Sudan (ACNUR 2007). They are basically refugees inside their own country. One of the main problems of IDPs living in the cities is the difficulty to generate income that allows them to satisfy their basic needs. Looking to solve this problem, the government of Colombia implemented a program to support IDPs to start small businesses so that they can provide for themselves. The issue under focus in this research states: what is the role of legal empowerment in the policy of income generation for IDPs in Colombia?
Legal empowerment is a practical concept and depends on its concrete application. For that reason I have made a case study. I have analyzed the program history and I also conducted semi-structured interviews with participants of this program, to obtain a complete understanding of how legal empowerment operates in development programs.
After conducting this study I conclude that legal empowerment can contribute to people’s freedom, but it can also undermine it. It can enhance people’s freedoms when it fosters effective access to justice to protect fundamental rights, as I will show with the use of tutela in Colombia. However, legal empowerment can also be perceived as unnecessary, expensive and useless when trying to formalize the businesses of poor people working inside the informal economy. (Less)
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author
Vargas Falla, Olga Cristina Ana Maria LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT33 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Legal empowerment, legal pluralism, development projects, internally displaced people, empowerment.
language
English
id
1613415
date added to LUP
2010-06-29 15:54:38
date last changed
2014-05-27 16:45:41
@misc{1613415,
  abstract     = {With around 3 million affected people, Colombia has the second highest number of internal displaced persons (IDPs) in the world after Sudan (ACNUR 2007). They are basically refugees inside their own country. One of the main problems of IDPs living in the cities is the difficulty to generate income that allows them to satisfy their basic needs. Looking to solve this problem, the government of Colombia implemented a program to support IDPs to start small businesses so that they can provide for themselves. The issue under focus in this research states: what is the role of legal empowerment in the policy of income generation for IDPs in Colombia?
Legal empowerment is a practical concept and depends on its concrete application. For that reason I have made a case study. I have analyzed the program history and I also conducted semi-structured interviews with participants of this program, to obtain a complete understanding of how legal empowerment operates in development programs. 
After conducting this study I conclude that legal empowerment can contribute to people’s freedom, but it can also undermine it. It can enhance people’s freedoms when it fosters effective access to justice to protect fundamental rights, as I will show with the use of tutela in Colombia. However, legal empowerment can also be perceived as unnecessary, expensive and useless when trying to formalize the businesses of poor people working inside the informal economy.},
  author       = {Vargas Falla, Olga Cristina Ana Maria},
  keyword      = {Legal empowerment,legal pluralism,development projects,internally displaced people,empowerment.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Legal Empowerment in Development Programs: The case of internally displaced people in Colombia},
  year         = {2010},
}