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Opinion Piece Highlights 3 Areas For Urgent Action To Ensure Protection Of IDPs

IRIN: The world’s 40 million invisible refugees
Johan Schaar, chair of ALNAP and associate senior fellow at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

“People displaced within their own countries — whether by conflict or disaster — often struggle for the same recognition and protections afforded to refugees. … So what can be done to improve the lives of the world’s 40 million [internally displaced persons (IDPs)]? In a 2018 analysis for the 20th anniversary of the [Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement], the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) in Geneva … identified three urgent issues for further action. First, the economic consequences of internal displacement need to be properly assessed. … Second, access to data on existing levels and new flows of internal displacement must be improved. … Finally, and most importantly, governments in the affected countries must be encouraged and supported to take more responsibility for their IDPs. … The number of people forced to flee violence and the impacts of climate change is growing. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement should be increasing their chances of receiving protection and assistance. But they need to be respected and, without the political will to prevent people from being forced to leave their own homes in the first place, they are insufficient” (2/11).