In a context where nearly all residents of Gulu and Kitgum are displaced, government and humanitarian actors have increasingly sought to target those with the greatest need through the identification of ‘vulnerable groups.’ This amorphous population has typically included women, children, the sick, disabled, and elderly. Taken together, these groups in fact form the majority of the internally displaced population of northern Uganda, making the term ‘vulnerable’ almost meaningless. One of the principal findings of this research was that the ‘vulnerable groups’ approach serves to oversimplify the complex socio-economic dynamics that impact upon IDPs’ full enjoyment of human rights. It ignores the ways in which members of particular groups take steps to mitigate against their so-called vulnerabilities.
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