Internally Displaced Persons

Source: IDMC Global Internal Displacement Database 2021

Who are they?

Internally displaced persons (also known as “IDPs”) are “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized border.” This definition is based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

What challenges do internally displaced people face?

The issue of internal displacement is multifaceted. Displaced persons have suffered a great deal witnessing the death of loved ones, destruction of lives and property. They have endured the long and dangerous journey to escape their assailants and find themselves living in a situation of heightened vulnerability in several areas.

IDPs are often unable to meet their basic needs of food, water, shelter, and health services and depend on relief distributions to meet their daily needs. In most cases, the majority of internally displaced persons are women and children who face abuse and exploitation to meet their personal and menstrual hygiene needs.

Due to inadequate livelihood opportunities and psychosocial support, many IDPs are trapped in a cycle of vulnerability and poverty, which, in turn, contributes to making their displacement prolonged. They experience flashbacks, feelings of isolation, depression, and hopelessness, which affect their overall well-being.

Solutions require a collaborative and multisectoral approach between the government, non-government organisations, religious entities, the private sector, humanitarian and developing actors.

Do they look like me?

Yes. IDPs are people just like you and me. Click on the arrow below to view some pictures.

Where can I learn about their stories?

Here is Fatima Usman, sharing her story about how she fled her village.

Fatima shares her story about how she escaped Boko Haram when they came to destroy her village. 

Where can I learn more?

Please read through this website to learn more about IDPs. Links to other websites are shown below.

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

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