Why we need to put internal displacement back on the global agenda
by Alexandra Bilak, IDMC Director
While politicians, the media and the general public have been fixated – with good reason – on the fate of refugees and migrants worldwide, another massive and largely neglected crisis has continued unabated behind many countries’ borders. In 2016, IDMC recorded 31.1 million new cases of people becoming displaced internally because of conflict, violence or disasters. This figure, published this week in our 2017 Global Report on Internal Displacement, is the equivalent of one person forced to flee every second.
Of the 65.3 million people now displaced by conflict and violence in the world, two thirds of them are displaced internally. The fate of these people lies in the hands of their governments, some of whom are unwilling or unable to assist and protect them. Internal displacement is a crisis of enormous proportions that the world has effectively sidelined- which is a short-sighted failure that highlights a lack of solidarity and empathy, but also impacts the way we are responding to the global refugee crisis.More broadly, it shows just how far we are from meeting our collective targets as a global community.
The full opinion piece published by Reuters is available here
2017 Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID)
More than 31 million people displaced within their own country in 2016
Conflict, violence and disasters caused 31.1 million new internal displacements in 2016, according to a new report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
"In 2016, one person every second was forced to flee their home inside their own country. Internally displaced people now outnumber refugees by two to one. It is urgent to put internal displacement back on the global agenda," said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the NRC.
Of the 6.9 million new internal displacements caused by conflict in 2016, 2.6 million took place in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Global Report on Internal Displacement. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was the country worst affected, with a spike of 922,000 new displacements during the year alone. Next were Syria (824,000), Iraq (659,000), Afghanistan (653,000), Nigeria (501,000) and Yemen (478,000). As of the end of 2016, a total of 40.3 million people were displaced within their own country as a result of conflict and violence, some of whom having been displaced for decades.
Read the full press release in English here.
Further information on the GRID 2017, including a media pack with regional press releases, report's highlights, photo and video gallery, brolls and infographics, is available here.
More than 12 million internally displaced people in Africa, says new report from IDMC
Friday, 9 December 2016 (Geneva) – The Africa Report on Internal Displacement, launched in Addis Ababa today, finds that in 2015 alone, 3.5 million people were newly displaced by conflict, violence and rapid-onset disasters in Africa. This is an average of more than 9,500 people per day uprooted from their homes. At the end of 2015, a total of 12.4 million people were living in ongoing displacement in 21 African countries as a result of conflict and violence. Each of these numbers represents a personal tragedy and presents a challenge for local, national and international responders.
Full press release available here
Africa’s invisible internal displacement, opinion piece written by the report’s author (published by Reuters)
Trump's policies could increase displacement from Central America, the Middle East - and climate change
by Alexandra Bilak, Director IDMC
It has now been a little over a week since Donald Trump captured the White House, a result that many headlines around the world have described as a “political earthquake”. Having absorbed the initial surprise, many individuals and organizations, including the team here at Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), are now looking to recalibrate their role in relation to a Trump administration.
The full opinion piece published in Reuters is available here
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre congratulates Cecilia Jimenez-Damary on her appointment as the new Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons.
Monday, 3 October 2016 (Geneva) – The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) congratulates Cecilia Jimenez-Damary on her appointment as the new Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. The announcement was made on Friday, 30 September, by the UN Human Rights Council during its 33rd session.
The full statement is available here.
UN Summit on refugees and migrants
IDMC responds to shortcomings of the UN Summit on refugees and migrants, as new IDP figures show relentless increase in internal displacement in 2016.
- Press release: UN summit on refugees and migrants sidelines the plight of IDPs
- Opinion piece: Missing the heart of the problem: Why ignoring internal displacement undermines the purpose of the UN summit on migrants and refugees
- Internal displacement update: Data and analysis from January to August 2016
Alexandra Bilak appointed as new Director of IDMC
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is delighted to announce the appointment of Alexandra Bilak as its new Director. She will officially take up this role on 1st August 2016.
20 July 2016 (Geneva) – As IDMC Director, Alexandra will lead IDMC towards achieving the objectives of its 2015-2020 strategy, and will consolidate IDMC’s role as the leading source of data and analysis on internal displacement. In this phase, IDMC will work with new and existing partners to provide ever-more compelling evidence of the drivers, scale, patterns and impacts of displacement across the world.
The full statement is available here
IDMC has signed a join expert statement on internally displaced persons to present at the High Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants (19 September 2016).
Below is an extract of the statement, for the full text and the list of signatories, click here.
"We strongly support a prominent focus on those displaced by conflict who remain within the borders of their own countries at the High Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. We recommend that the Declaration to be adopted at the Meeting include IDPs in a meaningful way, not only because failure to do so may increase cross border movements, but most importantly because the safety and security of millions of IDPs rests with the strong commitment of the international community to work with governments to ensure adequate protection, assistance and solutions".
Spanish version of the statement available here
New IDMC report on India calls for durable solutions to address internal displacement resulting from development projects. Each year millions of people worldwide are uprooted and left in extreme need as a result of this phenomenon.
Thursday, 14 July 2016 (Geneva) – The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) launched today Pushed Aside: Displaced for ‘Development’ in India, its first thematic report dedicated to the issue of internal displacement caused by development projects.
Internal displacement as a result of dam and road construction, mining activities, urban renewal, sporting events and other development activities is currently not covered in global displacement estimates, and rarely addressed as a humanitarian and development challenge of global proportions.
Such projects, however, have historically forced large numbers of people off their land “in the name of progress”. A conservative estimate points to 15 million people displaced each year, more than double the number of 8.6 million people displaced by conflict and violence in 2015.
Full press release available here
IDMC on World Refugee Day 2016
Ignoring the roots of Europe’s refugee influx
by Alexandra Bilak, Director (a.i.) IDMC
The current refugee influx in Europe is a symptom of the failure to protect and assist displaced people in their own country
Waves lap gently against a tiny, lifeless body on a deserted beach. Families run from clouds of teargas at a border crossing. A father breaks down in tears as he carries his child ashore. These iconic images of Europe’s refugee influx, its largest since World War II, have shaken us to our core and brought fragments of distant chaos to our borders, forcing us to bear witness.
But while we wring our hands about how to chip away at the tip of the iceberg, the true scale of the phenomenon and its human implications lurk unaddressed beneath the surface. World Refugee Day offers us the opportunity to honour those who flee their countries in search of safety by looking at their exodus through a wider lens. Many if not most refugees did not leave their country at the first sign of war, but instead fled first inside their nation’s borders, by choice or lack of it, hoping for peace or aid that never came.
Today, for every 10 refugees there are almost 20 internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled similar violence but did not or could not cross an international border. By the end of 2015, there were more than 40.8 million IDPs worldwide, uprooted by conflict and violence across 28 countries. Five countries - Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Ukraine - featured in two solemn lists: the ten countries with most new internal displacement during the year, and the ten countries of origin for those seeking asylum in Europe.
The full opinion piece published in Reuters on World Refugee Day is available here
IDMC at the World Humanitarian Summit
23 - 24 May 2016
A list of our activities at the World Humanitarian Summit is available here.
28 million people forcibly displaced by conflict and disasters in 2015 and millions more still invisible: IDMC new report highlights global crisis of internal displacement
11 May 2016
Conflict, violence and disasters internally displaced 27.8 million people in 2015, subjecting a record number of men, women and children to the trauma and upheaval of being forcibly displaced within their own country.
"This is the equivalent of the combined populations of New York City, London, Paris and Cairo grabbing what they can carry, often in a state of panic, and setting out on a journey filled with uncertainty," said Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). “Put another way, around 66,000 people abandoned their homes every day of 2015.”
Today, NRC's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) publishes its new Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID 2016), marking a breakthrough for IDMC as it synthesizes all of its reporting on global internal displacement into one report. This will be supported by a new Global Data Platform which will continually update the figures online. “By reporting on all situations of internal displacement, regardless of their cause, our intention is to provide an ever more holistic picture of what has truly become a global crisis,” said Alexandra Bilak, Director (a.i.) of IDMC.
The report covers internal displacement caused by conflict and sudden-onset disasters, on which IDMC has been the global authority for years. In addition it now also explores displacement currently "off the grid", such as that caused by criminal and gang violence, slow-onset disasters like drought, and development projects. It also takes the reader “inside the grid” and presents some of the methodological and conceptual challenges faced in trying to paint as complete a picture as possible.
Media Coverage Highlights available here
IDMC launches 2016 appeal for 4.9m USD to further expand and innovate its work on internal displacement worldwide
2 March 2016
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) publishes today its annual Appeal which outlines the organisation’s key plans and activities for 2016.
We begin 2016 facing a number of challenges, with unprecedented levels of displacement resulting from both new and protracted crises worldwide. Our appeal underscores our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation in our work. Some of our new activities include developing a state-of-the-art database which will help us provide real-time estimates of internal displacement situations across the world as well as early warnings of future displacement linked to natural hazards. To ensure that the database contains accurate and timely information, IDMC will play a leading role in improving IDP data and reporting systems by developing guidelines primary data collection.
Read the full statement
Download the Appeal 2016
New database reveals the strengths and gaps in national and regional frameworks on internal displacement
On behalf of the Global Protection Cluster Task Team on Law and Policy, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), today launched a new law and policy database revealing how countries around the world are framing their response to situations of internal displacement through national legislation and policies and regional instruments such as the Kampala Convention and Great Lakes Pact.
This tool adds a further dimension to IDMC’s role as the world’s leading source of data and analysis on internal displacement to inform the decisions and actions of policy-makers and humanitarian practitioners engaged in work to ease the plight and uphold the rights of internally displaced people.
Read the full press release
View the law and policy database
UNHCR High Commissioner's Dialogue
17 December 2015
IDMC's Director Alfredo Zamudio presented at the second thematic session: Addressing ‘new’ root causes: urbanisation, environmental degradation, food insecurity, water scarcity, natural hazards and climate change - Analysing displacement drivers to mobilise action
Read the talking points
16 December 2015
Press release: Only when root causes of internal displacement are understood can there be sustainable solutions
As the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) eighth annual High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges – on the theme Understanding and addressing the root causes of displacement commences today, the IDMC is releasing a new paper on the root causes of internal displacement.
Read the full press release
Read the briefing paper
30 November - 11 December 2015
As COP21 gets underway the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility, including IDMC, has produced a set of recommendations to government delegates on displacement, migration and planned relocation issues. The aim is to influence the final version of the Climate Change Agreement that the world's nations are set to sign up to when the conference culminates.
The Global Estimates report, released in July 2015, reveals how in the last seven years, an estimated one person every second has been displaced by a disaster, with 19.3 million people forced to flee their homes in 2014 alone. Disaster displacement is on the rise, and as policy leaders worldwide advance towards the adoption of a post-2015 global agenda, the time has never been better to address it.
Global Estimates Press Release
20 July 2015
Partner activities at COP21
Norwegian Refugee Council
IDMC in the media
IDMC and partners in the media
Week 1 of the conference: see list of links here.