What is an Internally Displaced Person?

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people or groups of people who have had to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence but have not crossed an internationally recognised State border. Particularly, as a result of – or in order to – avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalised violence, human rights violations or natural or human-made disasters.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people or groups of people who have had to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence but have not crossed an internationally recognised State border. Particularly, as a result of – or in order to – avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalised violence, human rights violations or natural or human-made disasters.

The 30 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement highlight the need for governments to act on their responsibility to protect and assist those who are internally displaced, regardless of the cause of their displacement. They pertain to IDPs in all stages of displacement until a durable solution is achieved, either through return, reintegration, or resettlement somewhere in the country. For a solution to be considered durable, an IDP must be in a situation where humanitarian assistance is no longer required, and they can enjoy their human rights. The 30 Guiding Principles also protect IDPs from arbitrary displacement.

In their Global Trends 2020 report, the UNHCR highlights 48 million IDPs, 42% of them in just three countries: Colombia (8.3 million), Syria (6.7 million) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (5.2 million).