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Abstract

The article explores internal displacement from biological disasters such as epidemics and pandemics. The article analyses displacement in India from the coronavirus outbreak of 2019 and claims that the group of internal migrants who were unable to return to their homes and stranded in various parts of the country because of the national lockdown exhibits the characteristics of disaster-driven IDPs, and should, therefore, be treated so. This analysis reveals three main aspects leading up to a practical recommendation: the inconsistencies in the current Indian legal response can be attributed to the group's non-recognition as internally displaced; the acknowledgment of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 as the appropriate national law to extend such protection; with the recommendation to explicitly integrate such persons as internally displaced under the Disaster Management Act. The article's wider contribution is towards developing the corpus of protection to persons displaced by disasters under disaster management laws of countries.

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