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Book Chapter

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In many jurisdictions around the world, the possibility of an ‘internal flight alternative’(IFA) (often referred to as ‘internal relocation alternative’) is invoked to deny refugee status to persons at risk of being persecuted for a Convention reason in part, but not all, of their country of origin. In this, as in so many areas of refugee lawand policy, the viability of a universal commitment to protection is challenged by divergence in State practice. The goals of this paper are therefore, first, briefly to review the origins and development of the practice of considering IFA as an aspect of the refugee status determination process; secondly, to identify key protection concerns in leading formulations of the IFA rule; and, thirdly, to propose relevant substantive and procedural standards which recognize the legal plausibility in some circumstances of considering internal protection alternatives, but which we believe avoid most of the protection pitfalls of current practice and doctrine.