Internal displacement: 20 years of action


In 2017, there were 30.6 million new internal displacements associated with conflict, violence and disasters. Internal displacement uproots people within their own countries, often at a moment’s notice, depriving them of their homes, jobs and basic services. LEARN MORE | Français | عربى

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April 24, 2018

Leave no one behind – IDPs living on the margins of international protection

3 year-old boy standing and smiling at an IDP camp in Iraq

There are more than 65 million displaced people worldwide, of whom more than 43 million are classified as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Currently, IDPs are overlooked in United Nations (UN) discussions and the focus of the UN Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration is on people who have crossed borders and are on the move. In the spirit of ‘leave no one behind’, Christian Aid wants to highlight the plight of these people and is calling for a fair deal for IDPs that is funded, ambitious, inclusive and rights-based.


In 2016, due in part to the high numbers of refugees moving into Europe via Greece and Italy, the international community pushed for the UN to develop Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration. At the […]

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April 18, 2018

States, UN, partners in new joint push to help people displaced in their own countries

Man in IDP camp in Yemen

Joint press release by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, and UNHCR

As crises multiply around the world, uprooting millions of people within the borders of their country, a group of states, UN agencies and partners have renewed their commitment to working collaboratively, to reduce and resolve internal displacement.

At a meeting in Geneva on 17 April, they launched a three year Plan of Action for Advancing Prevention, Protection and Solutions for Internally Displaced People (2018-2020). The meeting marked the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement – widely accepted as being the global standard for protecting and assisting internally displaced people (IDPs).

Internal displacement has been recognized as an issue of global concern […]

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April 17, 2018

Global campaign launches to raise awareness of internal displacement worldwide

Baby wrapped in blankets sleeping



To raise awareness of the global phenomenon of internal displacement, eight international organisations are combining their voices in a global campaign to highlight the situation of internally displaced people (IDPs) worldwide.  Men, women and children forced to abandon their homes because of conflict, violence, disasters or development projects but who have not crossed an international border to seek refuge abroad.

During 2016, there were more than 30 million incidents of new internal displacement worldwide. Each incident represents a person uprooted within their own country, often at a moment’s notice and in traumatic circumstances, depriving them of their homes, jobs, basic services and social connections. Their displacement also tends to leave them more vulnerable to violence, abuse and discrimination.


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April 16, 2018

2018: Time to reframe policy and practice on internal displacement

Children at an IDP camp

On 4 April, the United Nations declared the end of the level-three emergency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The decision to downgrade the crisis from the highest state of humanitarian alert was made amid tense political positioning ahead of presidential elections due at the end of the year, ongoing conflict and violence, spiralling humanitarian needs and one of the world’s most acute internal displacement situations.

Beyond the immediate political questions that it raised, this move highlights a more persistent structural issue – our collective short-term approach to crises. Recently published figures show that humanitarian assistance is at an all-time high, partly to the detriment of long-term development investments. This has implications for the ability of governments and the humanitarian and […]

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Lead photo credit: NRC/Christian Jepsen