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Internally Displaced People

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48 million

There are 48 million internally displaced people worldwide.

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Trapped in dangerous areas

They are among the world’s most vulnerable people, often cut off from help by conflict or disasters. 

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58%

IDPs make up the majority of the global forcibly displaced population (58 per cent).

At the end of 2022, 71.1 million people were internally displaced as a result of conflict, violence, and disasters, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

UNHCR exists to protect and assist everyone who has been affected by forced displacement, including IDPs. We assume a coordination and operational delivery role in IDP situations to ensure protection is central to our work in order to prevent further displacement. We also provide life-saving assistance and work to identify solutions for displaced communities.

Coordination and working with partners

We work with other humanitarian agencies to make sure we reach everyone in need, but we are all guided by the same set of policies which are set out in the principle working document, UNHCR’s Strategic Directions 2017-2021.

To coordinate assistance to IDPs, we use a cluster approach. A cluster is when a group of agencies work together to set up and deliver an area of assistance, such as shelter, health care, camp management or protection.

UNHCR leads the Global Protection Cluster, co-leads the Global Shelter Cluster with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Global Camp Coordination Camp Management Cluster (CCCM) with International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

More information on UNHCR’s coordination of the clusters at global and field level can be found in our Emergency Handbook.

UNHCR also co-leads the IDP Protection Expert Group with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and the GPC to offer coordinated and collaborative senior-level support.

Protestors hold a giant sign which says 'Sin ley para los desplazados, no hay voto para los diputados'

Global report on law and policy on internal displacement

This report documents three decades of experience in domestic law and policymaking on internal displacement in line with international standards and expert recommendations.

Read the global report in English (Also available in French, Spanish and Arabic)

A group of people standing and posing for the photo

Cross-Regional Forum on Implementing Laws and Policies on Internal Displacement

UNHCR and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, in collaboration with the IDP Protection Expert Group, partnered with the International Institute of Humanitarian Law to convene a peer-to-peer exchange among government officials on implementing laws and policies on internal displacement.

Read the summary note here.

Watch a video with feedback from participants here.